< KlimaExpo.NRW Includes sOptimo Research Project in Showcase
08.07.2016 14:27 Age: 3 yrs

Local wild plants as alternative substrate for biogas production

Energy generation from biomass makes important contributions to the transformation of the energy system and attainment of European and national climate protection targets. To limit the negative impacts of biogas production on the natural environment, the Regionale 2016 GrünSchatz (Green Treasure) project is experimenting with new seed mixtures of local wild plants in the West Münsterland and Lippe regions. For this reason, the research project has now been accepted as one of the climate protection pioneers which KlimaExpo.NRW showcases in its state-based permanent exhibition. KlimaExpo.NRW Managing Director Dr Heinrich Dornbusch today presented the official certificate to Project Manager Prof. Tillmann Buttschardt of the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster).


f.l.t.r.: Prof. Tillmann Buttschardt, GrünSchatz Project Manager, Hans Rommeswinkel, Dorsten, Martin Hannen, Divisional Head of Crop Production and Horticulture at the NRW Environment Ministry, Christel Briefs, Deputy Mayor of Dorsten, Dr. Heinrich Dornbusch, Senior Managing Director of KlimaExpo.NRW, Dr. Martin Schmid, NRW Chamber of Agriculture, Uta Schneider, Director of Regionale 2016 Agentur

On differently laid out and managed trial plots in Dorsten, Billerbeck, Coesfeld and Schermbeck-Gahlen, new plant mixtures are scientifically tested for their ecological and economical aspects and from the point of view of landscape management, under the GrünSchatz research project, a joint undertaking of the University of Münster (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster), the NRW Chamber of Agriculture and the town of Dorsten. The mixtures are chosen on the basis that they are sufficiently high-yielding to be used in biogas installations, have a high ecological value and positive effects on the natural landscape. The project is designed to demonstrate any economic prospects for using wild plants for this purpose. On the basis of the results, cultivation of energy crops for biogas production will be optimised with regard to environmental protection and nature conservation. The trial plots will also demonstrate possible changes in the natural landscape. The project contributes to an increased acceptance of renewable energies and promotes positive environmental effects. Because of this, the project was today accepted by KlimaExpo.NRW as a qualified project in the ‘Rethinking Energy’ category. “We would like to contribute to mitigating the negative effects of the transformation of the energy system on the landscape, and on flora and fauna. We aim to strike a sensible balance between nature conservation and target yields,” said Prof. Tillmann Buttschardt, GrünSchatz Project Manager.

Balance between economy and ecology

Through the development of operating models, it can be clearly shown how at the operative level an economically viable cultivation can be established in the long term. At the same time, other aspects, such as the acceptance by various stakeholders of the wild plant plots and the added value of their appearance in the landscape, will be examined. “Innovative research contributions play an important role in the connection between economic efficiency and environmental issues. This project also is exemplary in its linking of economy and ecology. I am therefore delighted at its inclusion in the KlimaExpo.NRW permanent exhibition,” said Dr Heinrich Dornbusch, Senior Managing Director of KlimaExpo.NRW.

New routes for the transformation of the energy system

GrünSchatz will help to mitigate the negative effects of the transformation of the energy system on the landscape, and on flora and fauna, and provide proof of this. “The project makes an important contribution to the increased acceptance of climate protection in general and thus further supports the state’s engine for progress. We need research projects like this to open up new routes for the transformation of the energy system,” said Martin Hannen, Divisional Head of Crop Production and Horticulture at the NRW Environment Ministry.

To the project