While there have been vast intact peatlands in Germany in the past, in recent decades more and more of these wetlands have been dried up to prepare the land for conventional agriculture. Unfortunately, these dewatering processes lead to the release of significant amounts of greenhouse gases, which were previously stored in the wet peatlands.
A rewetting of peatlands can stop the release of greenhouse gases and restore their capability to serve as natural greenhouse gas storages. The rehydration process does not necessarily mean that agriculture or forestry is made impossible. Paludiculture, i.e. the agricultural and forestry use of wetlands by planting appropriate (energy) plants can combine interests related to both climate protection and agriculture.
MORGEN – Moorrevitalisierung als Greifswalder Anpassungsstrategie – Entwicklungsperspektiven durch nasse Nutzung
Funded by: Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Construction and Nuclear Safety
Project Partners: University of Greifswald, City of Greifswald, Michael-Succow-Stiftung
Time Scope: 2018-2020
The aim of the project is to reduce agricultural and urban vulnerability by rewetting drained peatlands and converting them to site-adapted use. Within the project, urban-rural relationships for the production of biomass in paludiculture and its utilisation (energetically: heat; materially: e.g. insulating materials) are to be established and strengthened. This will involve all stakeholders with influence on the use of peatlands and biomass exploitation.
For MORGEN, IKEM is preparing a legal study on current obstacles and options for further development in regulatory and planning law with regard to the implementation of climate adaptation and climate protection measures. The focus of the study lies in particular on the legal consideration of the interactions between private lease contract constellations and public planning law.
German Peatland Conservation Dialogue
These aspects are the subject of the project “German Peatland Conservation Dialogue” funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment. For this project, the Greifswald Peatland Conservation Centre also drew on the expertise of IKEM. IKEM identified the main obstacles for the dissemination of paludicultures and developed recommendations to overcome these obstacles. The objective was also to design incentive schemes to increase the use of paludicultures for both material exploitation and the energy recovery from cultivated and harvested plants. Paludiculture biomass can be fermented in biogas plants to produce biogas which can be used to generate electricity in cogeneration plants. The biogas can also be fed into the gas grid after processing. Even an admixture of this sustainable raw material in the burning of existing gas or coal plants seems possible. One particular requirement for the commercial use is its eligibility for funding under the applicable Renewable Energies Act (EEG), the Biomass Ordinance (Biomasseverordnung), the Renewable Energies Heat Act (EEWärmeG), the Energy-Savings Act (EnEV), the Combined Heat and Power Act (KWKG) and other legal requirements.
The IKEM study was incorporated into the further work of the project and also became part of the online portal Moorwissen.de. In addition to numerous other publicly accessible information on paludic culture, the results of IKEM’s work were published there as position papers.
Pre-study “Rewetting of drained moors and introduction of paludiculture to implement sustainable land management in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania”
Principal: German Peatland Conservation Dialogue, Project of the University of Greifswald
Project Partner: Greifswald Moor Centrum
Time scope: 2016-2017