Do you have any questions about renewable resources? Here you will find the answers!
The constantly growing world population is facing its probably greatest challenge: Mankind needs not only sufficient food and drinking water but energy in the form of heat, electricity and fuels. Both of them – food and energy – are preconditions for survival, life, progress and prosperity. Supplies will become more difficult because we are slowly running out of our present raw materials base. In addition to that, climate change and energy transformation are also forcing us to look for secure and climate-friendly alternatives. The chemical industry also needs new raw materials in the near future in order to replace fossil oil – which is becoming more and more expensive – as the base of many products (from mobile phones, plastic packagings and textiles to medicine).
Renewable resources from agriculture and forestry have got a large potential. They have been tried and tested for centuries. Wood, for example, has got a long tradition as fuel and building material. Fibres have long been used for clothes and as insulating material. It was not before the Industrial Revolution that these products have lost their importance. Now it is up to us to find new possible uses and to further develop old ones. As a base material for products, i.e. for industrial use, or as an energy source in solid, fluid or gaseous condition – the possibilities of renewable resources are nearly unlimited. In the field of renewable energies in Germany, biomass is the most important today, amounting to a share of about 50 per cent.
Recognising this trend early, Bavaria has already begun research in the field of renewable resources in the 1970ies.
In the following decades, these activities were further developed in all Bavaria and were finally focused in the KoNaRo – Centre of Excellence for Renewable Resources in Straubing by the Bavarian Government in 2001. Three independent institutions closely cooperate: the TUM Campus Straubing (TUMCS), the Technology and Support Centre (TFZ) and the Central Agricultural Raw Material Marketing and Energy Network (C.A.R.M.E.N. e.V.). Each of these three pillars has got different tasks and different key areas of activity. As a result of the close vicinity and cooperation, new national and international projects and partnerships are constantly being implemented. Comprehensive knowledge in the complete range of renewable resources enables the KoNaRo to accompany all stages from the plant and its agricultural aspects down to the marketing of the finished product. The experts are not only involved in the research, development and testing of new technologies and products but also in market analysis and market development. Moreover, consumers can get advice, new projects are assessed and funding programmes are implemented. All disciplines relevant for research and implementation in the field of renewable resources are consolidated here. The work of the KoNaRo is accompanied by a Coordination Council, which is composed of representatives from science, industry, economy and local politics.
The three pillars
The Technical University of Munich – Campus Straubing for Biotechtology and Sustainability (TUMCS) deals primarily with basic research and academic teaching.
The development of sustainable technologies on the one hand and their economic implementation on the other – these are the two major topics that the TUM Campus Straubing brings together as so-called “Integrative Research Centre” of the Technical University of Munich. This requires scientifically and technically trained specialists, chemists, biotechnologists and engineers who also have a broad understanding of the economic and social interrelationships, or economists who understand the language of the technicians.
Based on this approach, research and teaching capacities in Straubing are being systematically expanded. The academic training at the TUM Campus Straubing takes place within the framework of different Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s theses and doctorates.
In the future there will be a growing number of Master´s programmes, which will be offered entirely in English. This makes the courses offered at the TUM Campus Straubing interesting for international students as well.
The Technology and Support Centre (TFZ) is an institution of the Bavarian Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry and can look back on more than 40 years of experience in the field of applied research on renewable resources. The scientists deal with the cultivation and use of renewable resources.
The main goals of the TFZ and its more than 90 staff members are the support of the agricultural production, the processing and utilization of renewable resources by applied research, the development and testing of products and methods, and the transfer of technology and knowledge by demonstration and education. In addition, the TFZ is responsible for financial support of different biomass projects in Bavaria.
Applied research, development, testing and process evaluation at the TFZ is done in different divisions:
- Renewable Resources, Crops and Material Cycles
- Solid Biofuels
- Renewable Fuels and Materials
- System evaluation of renewable resources
The tasks in particular are:
- development of agricultural production technology including plant breeding for new raw material crops, which shall be used for both, energetic and non-energetic applications,
- conduction and evaluation of agriculture field trials and execution of model projects,
- continued development and testing of technology and methods for the provision of renewable solid and liquid biomass fuels and raw materials with particular focus on applications in rural areas,
- provisioning of consulting services for the agricultural sector and for companies, politicians as well as administrations,
- demonstration of practical applications, including permanent and non-permanent exhibitions and regular training sessions,
- granting of government subsidies for biomass-based raw material applications.
- analysis and evaluation of ecological and economic effects from the provision, processing and use of renewable resources
- The NAWAREUM also leads to a world of experience for sustainable raw materials and renewable energies under the leadership of the TFZ. From mid-2021 onward visitors can discover an interactive permanent exhibition on 1,235 m².
C.A.R.M.E.N. e.V. is especially committed to public relations, consultation and project evaluation.
The Central Agricultural Resources Marketing and Energy Network was founded as coordination centre for renewable resources by the Free State of Bavaria in 1992. the original goal was to find new sales markets for agricultural products and an additional source of income for farmers.
Today, the nonprofit organization with more than 70 members from the whole value chain of renewable resources and renewable energies is throughout Germany a sought-after contact point for information about industrial and energetic use of biomass and the topics wind and solar energy, environmental heat, hydropower as well as saving energy and resources.
C.A.R.M.E.N. e.V. initiates new technologies and products with a variety of project partners and advises farmers and consumers on possible uses of biomass and renewable resources. The employees also evaluate and supervise eligible projects in Bavaria. Additionally, numerous lectures, publications and exhibition stands are supposed to create awareness within the population and on the markets about renewable resources, renewable energies and sustainable use of resources.
Here you can contact us:
KoNaRo – Centre of Excellence for Renewable Resources
Tel.: +49 (0)9421 300-001