Every second, orange garbage trucks go to the Nuremberg incinerator: here, household waste from about a million people burn, as well as huge waste and industrial waste – the annual figure is 250 thousand tons.

But this waste is by no means waste: about 20 percent of the region’s heating and 10 percent of the electricity in Nuremberg comes from waste incineration. The second plant manager, Hans-Peter Kauppert, asserts, “When the system is running, we are relatively stable,” with a view to the upcoming heating season.

Ammonia deficiency threatens the winter heating season

However, there is no guarantee that the system will operate during a gas crisis: Thomas Knoll, director of the association Garbage recycling in Schwandorfhe hopes to be able to run at full power in winter as well, but what worries him most is to supply a substance that the power plant needs in large quantities: ammonia water: “We don’t know if this supply is more guaranteed than in winter, because there are very few of the producers of this material,” says Knoll.

If connection problems occur: turn off the system or increase the exhaust gases

The problem: Ammonia water is a by-product of natural gas production — and natural gas can become scarce. Ammonia water reduces emissions from waste incineration. Every 14 days, the Schwandorf plant fills its tanks with 20,000 liters of it – the supplier comes from the Czech Republic. Knoll fears that there will be serious consequences if there is no delivery: “First of all, we will do some kind of lengthening process so that we can still meet the values ​​at lower. Then you have to decide if you want to turn off the system or use the increased nitrogen values ​​that can He lives “.

Waste incineration potential has already been exhausted

The Schwandorf waste-to-energy plant tries to keep the electricity supply as high as possible, even saving a little more than usual, but the potential is almost exhausted. Kubert of the Nuremberg waste incineration plant also admits that both the Nuremberg power plant and other Bavarian plants are running at maximum capacity: “We certainly can’t absorb peak loads or add another shift,” he explains.

Wood waste incineration plant will double the proportion of waste in the future

Even if it is difficult to achieve a significant increase in electricity and heat production through waste incineration, regional energy provider N-Ergie is already working on concepts for additional electricity and heat generation capabilities in Nuremberg. At the N-Ergie site, a waste wood incineration plant could in the future increase the proportion of waste used in energy production by a factor and a half to double. For this, however, the system must first go through the approval process, says Norman Filno of N-Ergie.

Waste burning as an economic indicator

An important factor for the next heating period in Schwandorf is the delivery of commercial waste. “We are already noticing a significant slowdown in the construction sector and of course especially in Auto supply sector‘, says association director Knoll and describes the waste incineration plant as an indicator of the development of the economy.