/  May 01, 2015  -  October 31, 2017


Investigation of a modulated power management of organic waste fermentation and composting plants for the integration of fluctuating renewable energies

Partners Witzenhausen-Institut für Abfall, Umwelt und Energie GmbH
Funding  BMWi
Duration 01.05.2015 – 31.10.2017
Scientists Uwe Hoffstede (project coordinator), Manuel Stelzer, Uwe Holzhammer


By further expansion of fluctuating renewable energies there will be an increasing need of flexible power generation and consumption capacity in the future. Flexible power generation will contribute to the equalization of the weather-dependent energy supply of the energy sources wind and photovoltaics.

This includes both a demand oriented energy production to the current power demand in the grid as well as the provision of ancillary services to ensure a power supply with a constantly high availability.

Reflecting this background - the R&D project "BiKoFlex (investigation of a modulated power management of organic waste fermentation and composting plants for the integration of fluctuating renewable energies) examines the energy-economic potential of organic waste digestion and composting plants (BiKo plants) as an additional flexibility option in the energy system. This project also takes into account waste management and process engineering issues that will be analyzed and evaluated.

BiKo plants feature the technical potential to contribute to the integration of the fluctuating energies - both through demand-oriented electricity production as well as through a customized demand-side-management (DSM) and by the additional provision of ancillary services in particular.

At the same time the material and energetic use of organic waste gained in importance after the reorganization of the law on Life-Cycle Management (KrWG), which requires that organic waste must be collected separately since 01.01.2015 (also see Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2014)).

The Reorganization of the Life-Cycle Management Law is accompanied with prediction of a significant increase in biomass potential from organic waste in Germany.  

Up to now BiKo plants are operated independently from the general power demand both in terms of their own electricity needs as well as in terms of power generation.

With entering into force of the Renewable Energy Law in 2014, however, new BiKo plants must already provide the ability to produce flexible electricity. Therefore, their operation concepts should be integrated in the transformation process of the future energy supply.

The way of looking at the energy system technology and integration of renewable energy sources by the Fraunhofer IEE (formerly Fraunhofer IWES) is complemented by many years of experience in waste management by the project partner, the Witzenhausen Institute GmbH.

In addition to the scientific-analytical orientation of the project, the integration of two existing BiKo plants adds a strong application-oriented character to the research project.