New figures from Deutsche Pelletinstitut (DEPI) show that over 1.3 million tonnes of wood pellets were produced in Germany in the first half of 2019, an almost 13 percent increase or 150 000 tonnes compared to the same period in 2018. Good feedstock availability, new facilities and plant capacity expansions as well as increasing demand from neighbouring countries factors behind the production volume increases says Deutschen Energieholz- und Pellet-Verbands e.V – DEPV.
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According to DEPV – the German energy wood and pellets industry association, almost 97 percent of the pellets produced in Germany corresponds to ENplus A1, the highest quality class. Softwood species – spruce, pine, larch, and fir are the dominant (97.1 percent) material source with sawdust (94.7 percent) the preferred feedstock form.
German producers almost exclusively use renewable heat for the production of ENplus A1 certified pellets. Pressed from sawmill residuals, their high CO2 reduction factor could contribute even more to climate protection through their greater spread, explained Martin Bentele, Managing Director of DEPV.
The pellet industry expects further momentum from the currently much-discussed CO2 pricing of fossil energy sources.
With a current slight increase of approximately 10 percent compared to the previous year it is slightly steeper but this is not enough to achieve the climate protection goals. Moreover, it does not exhaust the potential of German production. More than 15 percent of the pellets produced in Germany are exported overseas for because of a lack of sales, instead of replacing fossil fuels locally, Bentele said.
The share of bagged goods at 22.2 percent is just above the previous year’s level. For the second half of the year, DEPV still expects high production output, so that the total production volume of 2.5 million tonnes of pellets forecast for 2019 is likely to be reached. For private customers, Bentele advised that they take advantage of low summer prices to fill their pellet storage.
Every pellet heater should go into the winter season with a full storage unit, Bentele said.