Removing CO₂ from the atmosphere while at the same time producing climate-neutral heat – these two important decarbonization measures are combined in the new “Carbon Removal Park Baltic Sea” of the German cleantech company Novocarbo in Grevesmühlen (Germany).
Hamburg/Grevesmühlen. Hamburg-based start-up Novocarbo officially opened the Carbon Removal Park Baltic Sea in Grevesmühlen (Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Germany) on October 12, 2023. The opening ceremony was attended by invited guests from politics and business. Jochen Schulte, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labor of the Federal State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, praised the park in his welcoming address “as an important component in the fight against climate change.” He emphasized the opportunities offered by the energy transition for additional jobs and economic development.
The Paris climate targets call for carbon dioxide emissions to be reduced to net zero. To achieve this, global CO₂ emissions must be massively reduced. At the same time, CO₂ must be actively removed from the atmosphere through so-called Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies.
The Carbon Removal Park Baltic Sea (CDR-Park Baltic Sea) in the green industrial area north-west in Grevesmühlen is a unique example in Germany of a holistic approach to CO₂ removal and green heat generation. Each year 3,200 t of CO₂ will be removed from the atmosphere, 6,600 MWh of climate-neutral heat will be generated, and 1,700 t of biochar will be produced, which can be used as a soil conditioner in agriculture, among other things.
The showcase site for Biochar Carbon Removal, one of the world’s most effective CO₂ removal technologies, is the result of a unique cooperation of German climate pioneers, and combines several climate-saving measures at once.
State-of-the-art pyrolysis technology from German plant manufacturer PYREG is used to process biogenic residues into biochar. This binds the carbon present in the biomass and stores it in the biochar over the long term. The biochar serves as a water and nutrient reservoir, making agricultural soils healthier and more climate-resistant, for example. The pyrolysis process also produces climate-neutral waste heat, which Stadtwerke Grevesmühlen (municipal utilities) will feed into its district heating network from the 2023 heating season. This will make the supply of around 1800 connected households greener and increase the share of renewable energy from 60% to 75%.
The cleantech company Novocarbo builds and operates Carbon Removal Parks and is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of biochar. The Carbon Removal Park Baltic Sea is the third and so far largest site of the Hamburg-based start-up. Companies such as thyssenkrupp rothe erde already rely on Novocarbo’s decarbonization solution. The construction of 200 further CDR parks worldwide is planned by 2033.
Caspar von Ziegner, CEO Novocarbo: “Our Carbon Removal Parks can generate climate-neutral heat and at the same time remove CO₂ from the atmosphere, thus making an important contribution to achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. We are pleased to drive the heat transition in Germany through our collaboration with Stadtwerke Grevesmühlen and to support the energy industry in decarbonizing its heat generation. Collaborations between cleantech startups and municipal utilities are the way forward to quickly and successfully deploy decarbonization technologies to achieve net zero goals. “
Jens Wilms, Project Development Stadtwerke Grevesmühlen: “By using Novocarbo’s climate-neutral waste heat, we can save natural gas as an energy source and make district heating greener for the region. We see great potential here, especially for small and medium-sized municipal utilities, because Novocarbo’s decarbonization technology can be easily adapted and scaled. The energy supplier only builds the heat transport pipeline and saves on additional investment costs, which enables short-term implementation. With cooperations like the one with Novocarbo, the path towards climate-neutral energy supply can succeed in an uncomplicated way.”
Stefan Wenzel, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection: “Only through flagship projects such as the Carbon Removal Park Baltic Sea can the development potential of new technologies for CO₂ removal be exploited to the fullest, can scaling up to large-scale industrial applications succeed, and can the path towards a climate-neutral energy supply be successfully taken. I am convinced that Germany needs such innovative companies as Novocarbo to meet the major challenges of climate change.”