Mauenheim bio-energy village
A village that generates all its own energy from locally grown bio fuels.
Decentralised energy supply networks can provide energy more efficiently than the national grid and use renewable energy sources, significantly reducing CO2 emissions from the local area.
Turning crops into energy
The 430 people who live in the village of Maunenheim in Germany have taken this approach. Energy crops (corn, clover and alfalfa) are grown locally and, together with manure, turned into biogas for an electrical cogeneration system that provides both electricity and heating.
The system produces around 4 million kWh of energy per year – nine times the electrical requirement for the village. An additional 60,000 kWh of energy is provided by a new photovoltaic system.
Electricity and heating are both fed into local supply grids. The hot water supply grid provides heating for the local alpine resort, city hall, church and homes. Additional heat for hot water is provided by a woodchip heating system, using woodchips from a nearby community forest.
Having two complementary heat sources is ideal, with the biogas system operating year-round on a nearly continuous basis to provide daily hot water, and the energy from the woodchip system available in the winter for peak heat demands.
Financial and resource viability needs to be evaluated to see whether it provides a good long term example of how rural communities can use local resources such as wood fuel to take control of their energy supply.
Mauenheim’s energy system is privately run with additional investment from the community.
CABE and Urban Practitioners
with the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield