Achental Germany

The region “Achental” and its economic framework

Located in the South-Eastern part of Bavaria, the alp valley “Achental” is situated along the river “Tiroler Ache”. The region has a total surface area of 474 km2 and a population of approximately 30,000 inhabitants.

 Located on the fringes of the Bavarian Alps, agriculture and tourism are main economic pillars of the region. In the last years Achental has elaborated a strong profile on “alternative tourism”.

In 1996, the mayors of eight Achental municipalities formed “Ökomodell Achental”,

a regional development agency with focus on land use, nature protection, tourism and renewable energies. It is a main objective for the region to successfully use the endogenous potential for creating products and service chains with a high regional value.

Land use

The land use is dominated by rural farmland and forestry; more than 30 % of the region is nature protected. Agriculture is dominated by greenland mainly for beef and diary farming. 75 % of the farms are very small having less than 20 hectares of agricultural land. Almost half of the region is covered with forests. The forest is mainly in public property. Growing in a mountainous relief the forests are dominated by common spruce.

Biomass potential and current consumption

Within a radius of 50 km forest residues offer an overall potential of 942,000 m3.

Residues from landscape management offer a potential of 51,000 m3 and remains from saw mills provide 30,600 m3. Therefore, the total biomass potential is 1,023,600 m3 per year.

The current wood chip consumption is 187,167 m3 for district heating systems and decentralised boiler. Additional organic residues are garden residues, other bio-waste and animal residues, which are used in decentralised biogas plants.

Existing and upcoming projects in the bio-energy sector

The region Achental has defined a precise set of quality criteria for the regional bio-energy projects: The bio-energy actions have to adapt well to the existing economic and cultural structures in the valley and must perform high energy efficiency. Projects which fulfil these quality criteria are district heating networks based on wood-chips, small decentralised biogas plants and the implementation of wood gasification technologies. The region has established a regional bio-energy centre (Biomassehof Achental) which is set-up in public- private partnership and serves as main engine and facilitator for future bio-energy development in the region.

The Alp valley Achental strives to spread and disseminate the own successful regional development as a “bio-energy region”.