The interview was carried out with the company „Müritz-Biomassehof GbR Varchentin". The questions were answered by the shareholder Andreas Tornow. Since 1999, an union of four companies acts as community of interests „Müritz-Biomassehof GbR". The aim of the community is the sustainable and multifunctional development in the area of the renewable energies, specifically the creation of model utilizations of renewable primary products.

 

In which sector is your company active?

The Müritz-Biomassehof is an agricultural company and grows among other things rapeseeds. We pursue different business-fields on that occasion: Production of biomass, energy-production from renewable energies, improvement of the tourist infrastructure and knowledge-transfer with other agricultural companies.

 

Which type of energy is used mainly in your area?

Of course we use conventional electricity, but we are interested in a conversion towards renewable energies and plan the use of solar or wind-energy in the future. Already now, we use rapeseed oil as fuel for our vehicles. For the heating of our office building wood-ovens were installed.

 

To which percentage are renewable energies applied in your company?

Our total demand for energy is covered to 75-80 per cent from renewable energy.

 

Where does the electricity from renewable energies find utilization in your company?

Our agricultural vehicles are run completely with rapeseed oil. For this a retooling of the motors was necessary. Our heating system receives the energy from wood-ovens.

 

Why did your company choose this type of energy-production?

On the one hand we try to become more independent and more ecological through the usage of rapeseed oil, for example. Rapeseed is a renewable primary product and can be grown in big amounts. But also economic reasons play an important role.

 

Do you know programs, that promote the implementation of renewable energies?

Yes, in fact there are some programmes. However, the majority of the necessary investment was company financed.

 

Where did you acquire the knowledge about the implementation of the technologies?

My know-how in this topic is based mainly on initiative and self-educated learning. But also hiring of accordingly qualified staff and the exchange of know-how among colleagues widened our knowledge.

 

Were you supported in the implementation of the renewable energies?

We didn't ask for any funding. The implementation of the technologies was completely self financed.

 

Which other type of support did you possibly get?

By the use of rapeseed oil as fuel we do not pay and eco tax as for diesel. In this sense it is an indirect tax relief for us.

 

Was it necessary for your company to increase the capital?

By the conversion from ordinary fuel to rapeseed oil it was necessary to install corresponding cold pressing machines and a rapeseed oil gas station. Additional capital was required for this acquisition.

 

Is it technically possible in your company to use more than a type of renewable energy?

At the moment, we are busy with the planning of a plant for wood-gas stoves. The installation of a solar power system is planned for this year. Consequently, it therefore is possible to apply different regenerative energy technologies in our company.

 

Which impacts did the implementation of the renewable energies have on your company and your environment (society)?

Through our efforts and through the application of renewable energies, jobs has been saved and even been created. On the other hand, the village character of working and living was strengthened. And our sales increased since we sell the overplus of rapeseed oil.

 

Did you need an additional qualification in the area of the renewable energies and do you demand these for your staff?

I personally got trained by practical experience, self-learning and exchange of know-how with colleagues. The manufacturing firms offered additional free training on the products. For our staff, we demand at least basic knowledge in the area of the renewable energies. Any additional qualifications are desired of course.

 

Which type of further education do you prefer and how can it be financed?

I prefer the flexible learning as most appropriate type of the further education. A combination of E-Learning and face-to-face instruction or an exchange of experiences is the most effective possibility for training for myself and for my staff in my opinion. The further education is financed by our company, one’s own initiative is welcome of course.

 

Does your company aim at a type of certification?

At the moment we are busy with the realization of new projects and work on the expansion of our technical assets. Therefore no money is available for a certification at the moment. But it is also a personal decision: we are confident of the quality of our products and services and our customers confirmed this many times.

 

Which positive impacts did the implementation of renewable energies have on your surroundings in your opinion and how was it accepted in the population?

For the implementation of the renewable energies there was without exception positive feedback. The interest in these technologies is big so that we now offer also consulting and project development services.

Summarizing I can say that the conversion to renewable sources of energy is an ecological, social as well as an ecomic benefit for our company, the region and the environment.