The third BioVill study tour took place from the 16th until the 18th of May 2017 in the southern and south-eastern part of Bavaria. It started with a visit of several bioenergy villages and initiatives in the Ebersberg county, south-east of Munich, went further to bioenergy initiatives in Steingaden and Kempten/Allgäu and later to the bioenergy village Wildpoldsried and ended with a presentation of the Bavarian company REHEAU (production of polymer pipes for heating networks) and the visit of the district heating network in Vatersdorf (Buch am Erlbach) in the north of Munich. Based on the recommendations given by the participants of the previous study tours, a main focus was put on the planning and installation of a heating grid. Due to the situation in the partner villages another priority was on wood based heating systems as well as on combined heat and power production from anaerobic digestion (biogas) and gasification (syngas).
The participants learned about the problems and challenges the initiators faced at the beginning of the project implementation process and how they were able to solve them. In this regard, all presenters highlighted the importance of a strong citizens involvement from the very beginning, e.g. by public information and awareness rising campaigns, but also by shareholder and investments models. Furthermore, also problems in a later stage of the projects were discussed, e.g. maintenance, expiring of feed-in tariffs and changes of the framework conditions. The financial aspects of the investments played again a major role in the discussions.
All in all the participants appreciated very much the programme and organisation of the third study tour to Bavaria/Germany. They intensively used the presentations and discussions with the German experts to discuss both the German examples as well as the possible adoption of the presented experiences to their respective situations. Despite the busy spring time for farmers and foresters the BioVill partners again motived a large number of interested stakeholders from the selected target villages. Some of them participated already for the second time and thus, they were able to compare the different bioenergy concepts presented in the study tours and to derive conclusions for their own bioenergy development concepts. In total, 24 participants attended the study tour which was jointly organised by WIP and GIZ.