PELLETS AS A FUEL: INNOVATIVE — CLEAN — SUSTAINABLE
We talked to Martin Bentele, Managing Director of the German Energy Wood and Pellets Association (DEPV), about trends and current developments in the pellet stove market.
EVERYTHING SPEAKS FOR PELLETS!
Mr. Bentele, why are pellet stoves currently in such demand as environmentally friendly and efficient heat sources?
Private individuals are currently happy to invest in their own homes and the use of renewable energies for heat generation has become attractive. Fossil fuels are losing their importance in heating not only because of environmental aspects and thus pellet stoves are also interesting alternatives.What are the distinguishing features of pellets compared to other fuels?
Wood pellets are biomass, i.e. a renewable raw material. About two kilogrammes can replace about one litre of heating oil or one cubic metre of gas. This comparison alone shows how effectively pellets can be used for heating - everything speaks for pellets.
What role does stove technology play here?
Especially in the pellet sector, combustion technology is more innovative than ever: emissions are constantly being reduced and CO2-neutral systems are being further developed. But also the correct handling of the firing as well as an adequate air supply are decisive for the environmental compatibility of heating. Through the cooperation in our association, I have come to know RIKA as a very innovative manufacturer of air-guided pellet stoves that attaches great importance to optimal use of the fuel with the lowest possible emissions.
How can the quality of pellets be recognised?
With wood pellets, quality assurance is crucial for clean and efficient heating. Not only the production, but the entire production and supply chain from loading to safe delivery plays a role. For this purpose, the German Energy Wood and Pellet Association has helped to develop the world's leading certification system ENplus with three different quality classes. For the operation of individual stoves, such as RIKA pellet stoves, for example, the best quality (A1) is always recommended. These pellets enable optimum burning and less frequent maintenance.
Trees extract exactly as much CO2 from the air during their growth as is released when the wood is burnt. This results in a neutral CO2 balance. If - as in Germany - no more wood is felled than grows back, one can speak of CO2 neutrality of combustion. Therefore, unlike fossil fuels, domestically produced wood pellets burn CO2-neutrally. The overall carbon footprint of wood pellets therefore only includes the emissions caused by their production (transport, felling, production).