More and more families in South Tyrol are connected to a district heating plant, which is of course no coincidence. With 44% of the region forested, this significant biomass resource has been intensively exploited over the last 20 years. In 1994 the first biomass district heating plant began operation in Rasen-Antholz. Since then district heating plants have been opened across the region and today South Tyrol can boast the highest density in Europe with a total of 76 such plants.

In 2016 biomass district heating plants in South Tyrol supplied 16,532 buildings via a 860-km network and supplied 947 million kilowatt-hours of heat and 134 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, thus saving 106 million litres of fuel oil in South Tyrol every year. These plants not only make a contribution to climate protection, they also lower customer energy costs – oil heating nowadays costs 20% to 30% more than district heating.

These plants also have an important economic role, creating numerous jobs in South Tyrol. In addition, the plants are supplied with renewable energy and are thus vital elements for an independently managed technology mix, fully adapted
to local needs. In other words, local management supplies local consumers with energy from wood, a local resource.

Scientific studies confirm this effect: in 2011, the EURAC research centre established that, for every euro spent by customers on district heating, 70 cents remain in South Tyrol. The figure for conventional individual heating is a mere 22 cents. Decentralised heating plants are the basic element of a competitive and climate-neutral energy sector and also correspond to the energy policy guidelines of SEV.

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