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Manure converted into energy: More and more towns in Germany are heating with gas produced from farm waste

Can you believe that millions can be made from farm waste alone? The Germans proved that it does.


More and more rural towns in Germany are heating with gas produced by fermenting manure, based on research done by Pro Inspector.


Modern biogas plants are so efficient that they also produce electricity. So whoever invests in such a system wins twice: they also sell electricity and heating agent.


The Germans understood that green energy is the future.

They did not wait for the state to do the projects for them. Ordinary people have invested in solar parks and wind farms. But what do you do when you have neither sun nor wind?


The community of Hohenau has found the solution. Christof, a visionary engineer from the area, explains how he now produces both heat and electricity at the same time.


Christoph Ratzinger, owner of the biogas plant: "It's a biogas plant. I built it. I think this is the future. When you have no wind and no sun, like in December, we can produce energy from biogas. We have a whole biogas deposit".


Money made from dung.

The principle of operation is as follows: The materials, all organic, are put to ferment in gigantic flasks. Gas bubbles rise inside and set four engines in motion. They simultaneously produce both electricity and heat.


30 homes, a school, and a kindergarten in Hohenau are currently heated with the heating agent obtained in the biogas plant.


A: Are you producing power and heat for the locals at the same time?


Christoph Ratzinger, owner of the biogas plant: "Yes. The energy goes to the local grid and the heat goes directly to the houses".


The biogas plant annually produces 2.5 million kilowatts of heat and 3.3 million kilowatts of electricity. Thus, Christoph has a double win. Both energy productions brought him, last year, an income of 1.6 million euros. Money is made basically out of dung.


Christoph buys the excrement and straw mixture from farmers in the area. It pays 5 euros per ton, extracts the gas from them, produces heat and electricity, and returns the processed residues to the farmers to use as fertilizer.


The residents of Hohenau pay 6.42 cents per word for the heat thus obtained. Christoph guaranteed the price to the citizens until 2028.


Christoph Ratzinger, owner of the biogas plant: "We come out at half the price of heating with oil. Almost all had oil heating and made the transition to renewable energy”.


B: Was it difficult to convince them to make the change?


Christoph Ratzinger, owner of the biogas plant: "In some cases yes, because they had to trust us."


The German authorities supported the project.

Those who gave up heating with oil first invested in their own, and later received half of the money spent from the state.


The biogas plant produces even more heat than the locality needs. So that there was no waste, Christoph had another novel idea. He also made a contract with the town's sewage treatment plant, built another hall, and now also dries the residual sludge.


So, in Hohenau nothing is thrown away. Everything is reused. This helped Christoph to pay the 2 million euros invested more quickly. Calculations show that, by 2025, the debt will be paid in full.


The German electricity grid also gains because it incorporates the 2.5 million kilowatt hours produced by the biogas plant in Hohenau.


Nationally, 8% of the total electricity production in Germany is obtained from such plants.


In Romania, electricity produced from biogas barely exists, representing well below 1% of the total national electricity production.

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