Stefan Ortner, CEO of Ökofen
and speaker at European Bioenergy Future 2018

ÖkoFEN is one of the leading manufacturers of wood pellet heating systems. Bioenergy Europe has asked the CEO of the company what his vision is for the future of renewable heating, considering the recently voted EU legislation on the 2030 emissions reduction targets. Stefan will speak this 14th November at European Bioenergy Future 2018, a leading bioenergy event for market and policy players to meet and exchange.

Do you think the recently voted 2030 legislation (H&C obligation, energy efficiency and building performance requirements) will create opportunities for biomass solutions?

Yes, absolutely. Wood pellet heating is the low hanging fruit for CO2 reduction. Compared to other sectors, it’s an easy solution as it does not involve any change in consumer behavior while at the same time lowering the energy bill.

What does the building of tomorrow look like?

Its supply will have to be 100% renewable, all year round. This means the all-electric building will not be possible if battery capacity does not get bigger by factors of hundreds. From May to October solar will be able to provide all the energy needed in a building. The big question is, where will the energy come from in winter? Biomass largely is the answer. In many countries we already offer a full concept connecting photovoltaic, batteries and a pellets-Stirling technology (a small-scale cogeneration unit) to achieve full energy independency for the whole year.

Do you think the EU can reach net-zero emissions by 2050 – and how?

It will take a huge effort from all stakeholders. Electricity production and transport got most of the attention so far. Hopefully that will change, and politicians will realize that nearly half of our energy consumption is for heating and cooling. A sector were renewable solutions are out of the test lab and already well approved on the market for many years.

Do you think the building sector can be completely decarbonised by 2050? What are the challenges?

We must be optimistic and believe in this goal. The main challenge is that the wealth of many industries will be challenged: history proves that such things never happen without inertia from the status quo. I strongly hope that by 2050 we will be able to look back and say that our sector has done its job well and strived for a healthy future for our children. 

14th November, 11AM 
Deutsche Messe, Hanover, main conference room