Project details

Potential energy crop production in the federal state of Hesse: A regionally differentiated analysis

Due to the global, European and national-level target to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and to save fossil fuel, the agricultural production of raw material for energy generation is gaining increasing importance. The European Commission is aiming at increasing the share of renewable energy sources of currently 3 percent to 12 percent of primary energy consumption by 2010. 75 percent of this increase are to be achieved by biomass energy.

The study examines the potentials of energetic agricultural biomass use as well as the regional preconditions and possibilities of development using the federal state of Hesse as a case study. Hesse has set itself the ambitious target to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 15 percent of the total energy generation until 2015. The establishment of a market-place for bio-raw material is one of the measures expected to raise the demand for agricultural and forestry products and to thereby create additional sources of income and employment in the agriculture and forstry sector. This could also be of advantage for small and medium-sized enterprises in rural areas, e.g. via the construction of conversion facilities, resulting in an increase of value added in rural areas.

Objectives of the study are:

  • calculation of the energetic potentials of agricultural biomass;
  • identification of the resulting development potentials regarding energy generation and the regional economy;
  • development of recommendations for measures in order to create the prerequisites necessary for the use of existing potentials.

The calculation of the regional energy generation possible from biomass is being executed using county-level (Landkreis) results for:

  • the use of agricultural residual material (dung, residues from plant cultivation) and
  • energy plant cultivation on abandoned land (fast-growing tree species, plants for oil generation, corn and grass species).

Regional-level energetic potentials are highlighted in comparison with the status quo. Within the scope of a case study, regional development potentials connected to the expansion of energetic biomass use as well as preconditions and restraints are analysed.

Results will be used to formulate recommendations for measures to heighten the share of biomass in the total energy use as well as for ways of promoting this development at the regional level. Target groups of these recommendations are farmers, local authorities and policy makers.

Project no.: 



Research | Climate change and renewable energies |


Edmund Rehwinkel Foundation, Frankfurt (Main)



Contact person/s at IfLS: 

Jörg Schramek