Heating from biomass for the Kleinwalsertal

A new local heat network in Austria, powered through biomass, brings affordable heat to the local population and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

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The new heating plant produces clean energy for the Kleinwalsertal. The new heating plant produces clean energy for the Kleinwalsertal.

" Who else is in a position to claim that despite delivering to 170 connected objects, less emissions are produced than through one object that is not connected to the bio-energy plant Kleinwalsertal. "

Wolfgang Bantel, Heater

The heating plant in Hirschegg at the Austrian-German border now provides 170 buildings in Hirschegg and Riezlern, including public buildings, enterprises, and private households, with heating and warm water. Every year, around 5 200 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are saved thanks to the environmentally friendly technology of the biomass plant.

More than 11 km of heat network pipes

The project included the construction of the bio-energy heating plant itself and the entire local heat network. To produce the necessary energy, two biomass-powered boilers, which can produce 4 megawatts (MW) and 2 MW of energy respectively, have been installed. A fuel storage building was also constructed.

The heat network has a total length of 11 100 m. Besides the digging works and the installation of the pipes, heat transfer stations had to be built at the location of each of the clients of the network.

Benefits for locals and for the environment

The project brings a range of benefits to the local population and the many tourists. Bio-energy heating is not only comparatively cheap, but it also needs relatively little space in the customer’s buildings. Maintenance costs are also very low. At the same time, the technology is environmentally friendly and contributes to reducing air pollution, noise, and waste. In addition, regional forest owners and forest farmers are supported.

Generating energy from sustainable sources is one of the main challenges when it comes to achieving the EU’s climate goals. The bio-energy heating plant, which was supported with EUR 1.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund, thus contributes to the aims of the Europe 2020 strategy by helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The project generated two new full-time jobs and one part-time position.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Bio-energy heating plant Kleinwalsertal eGen” is EUR 11 000 000, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 1 600 000 through the “Vorarlberg” operational programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


Draft date

16/12/2014