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Jühnde Bio-Energy-Village

Jühnde (Lower Saxony) is Germany’s first village to produce heat and electricity by means of renewable biomass (energetic plants in form of silage and wood chips), thus creating a CO2 neutral balance.
The biomass, which can be easily stored and is available in continually good quality, can be used flexibly to meet the changing demands of heat and electricity.

The bio-energy plant has three essential components:
1. anaerobic digestion plant with a block-type thermal power station
2. wood chip burning boiler (to meet high demand in winter)
3. village heating grid

Anaerobic digestion plant with a block-type thermal power station
Silage and liquid manure are fermented in the fermenter. During a 4-step process, biogas (methane) is produced, which feeds the block-type thermal power station (an engine with a generator to produce electricity). The electricity produced is fed into the public grid. The heat generated by the combustion of the gas in the engine is fed into the village heating grid.

Technical details:

  • The fermenter needs about 6.600 m3 of liquid manure and about 11.000 t of renewable biomass such as wheat, rye, triticale, corn, gras etc. grown on an area of about 300 hectares per year.
  • About 5.000.000 kWh of electricity is generated annually.
  • About 4.500.000 kWh of heat is fed into the village heating grid annually.
  • About 3.500.000 kWh is used in the households annually.

Technical information:
Block-type thermal power station with a capacity of about 716 kWelel
Fermenter, about 3000 m3, 6 m high, Ø: 24 m
Storage of about 5.200 m3, 6 m high, Ø: 34m
Pit for about 280 m3
Silo for about 8.000 m3

Wood chip burning boiler:
In winter, this boiler contributes to the heat demand of the village. It is an oven with combustion in several steps, in which the wood chips are dried step by step and then burnt.

Technical details:

  • The oven needs about 600 cords of wood
  • Heat produced in a year: about 850.000 kWh from October to April, which corresponds to 20% of the yearly heat demand

Technical information:
Oven with a capacity of about 550 kWth
Wood chip storage for about 250 cords of wood

Boiler for extreme heat demand:
In case of a complete break-down of the whole plant and for the very few extremely cold days in winter, an additional boiler provides heat for the village. The approximately 1,6 MWth, powered by oil for the rare extreme heat demand in winter, correspond to about 5% of the annual demand of heat.

Village heating grid:
A heating grid was installed in the whole village: Heat supply in a year: about 4.500.000 kWh with a water temperature of about 80 °C and a pressure max. 4 bar.

Technical information:
About 5.500 m of pipes, 4.000 m being main pipes. 144 households connected.

About 3.500 t of CO2 emission will be avoided in a year, once the whole system is activated.(all values are approximate)

Motivation for a bio-energy village:

Initial situation:

  • Fossil fuels such as coal, petrol and natural gas are used in a way that cannot be accepted in the long term. The annual consumption of e.g. petrol amounts to one million years which were needed to form it; the worldwide supplies of petrol will be spent in about 80 years.
  • The CO2 contained in fossil fuels is set free in a short time and contributes to global warming, changes our climate and causes more extreme climatic events.
  • Resources used for generating energy such as uranium for nuclear energy are limited. If e.g. 1% of the worldwide needed energy was produced by nuclear power plants, the uranium supplies would be exhausted within 10 years.
  • Alternative energy such as solar energy and wind power could be added.

The basic conception
1. The biomass growing on our fields stores the incoming solar energy and makes it available on a long term basis.
2. Global problems such as protection of the climate and the use of alternative energies because of a shortage of fossil fuels can only be dealt with on the local level.

Therefore the IZNE was looking for a village which could realize the idea of a bio-energy place: „the bio-energy village – conditions and consequences of an independent heat and electricity supply through biomass for agriculture, ecology and life in a rural area“.

Protection of resources and climate
through a CO2 neutral production of heat and electricity

Protection of soil and water
through less nitrate and herbicides

Diversity of species
through a variety of crops

Strengthening our region
by creating new jobs

Strengthening solidarity and the community
in our village

How does one motivate a village?
It took 5 years to realize the whole project. There are three essentials which we think are decisive to keep a village motivated for such a long time:
1. A radical information policy through village-gatherings and info-letters, also mentioning the problems of this project.
2. Participations of villagers in workshops and working groups.
3. Competent persons in the village who were willing to provide information about this project at any time.


Bioenergiedorf Jühnde eG
Koppelweg 1
37127 Jühnde, Germany

Tel   +49 (0) 5502 911 973
Fax  +49 (0) 5502 998 385
E-Mail  info(at)bioenergiedorf.de