Anja Herkner
Institute of Rural Studies

Bundesallee 64
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5501
Fax: +49 531 596 5599

Renewable resources and land use (NaRoLa)


Biogas Plant (c) aid infodienst, Bonn
Biogas Plant (© aid infodienst, Bonn)

Renewable resources and land use - Integration of bioenergy in a sustainable energy concept (NaRoLa)

How and to what extent can biomass contribute to a sustainable energy supply in Germany? The NaRoLa-Project analyses this question taking rising oil prices, a high dependence of the energy supply on imports and the requirement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into account.

Background and Objective

Biomass is an important renewable energy source. Its production closely depends upon the availability of land, and competes not only with the production of food and feed, but also with other land uses such as recreation and nature protection. On the way to an efficient and sustainable energy supply, conflicts between the objectives competitiveness, security of energy supply and environmental compatibility need to be considered. The objective of the research project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is to develop an integrated model network that is able to analyse the interdependencies on global energy markets with the regional potentials of biomass production in Germany.


In a first step we couple the Regionalised Agricultural and Environmental Information System RAUMIS with the computable general equilibrium model Dynamic Applied Regional Trade (DART) and the Regionalised Information model – Maize (ReSI-M). In a second step we jointly elaborate a baseline to analyse, in a third step, the impacts of different scenarios in the context of the Renewable Energy Resource Act and to discuss the results with experts.

Data and Methods

Due to the different aggregation of sectors and production activities in the models we develop an interface between DART and RAUMIS. It consists of the production activities wheat, maize, other cereals, oil seeds, milk, meat and energy as joint aggregates. RAUMIS and ReSI-M are coupled in an iterative process. While RAUMIS is used to determine the production of energy maize for various prices and derive supply potential functions, ReSI-M Simulations provide information to deduce potential functions. Combining supply and demand functions, equilibrium prices are derived that are again inputs to RAUMIS to simulate adjustments in agriculture.

Our Research Questions

• What are the impacts of supporting bio-energy on agricultural land use, production, input use, and income?
• What are the ecological consequences?
• What does an expansion of bio-energy contribute to the rural development?
• How can we model different complex interactions between sectors and different regional scales?


Results of the project are discussed in workshops with experts and stakeholders from business and government. Furthermore, results are presented at numerous meetings and conferences, and are published in different national and international peer-reviewed journals.


Involved external Thünen-Partners


3.2007 - 4.2010

More Information

Projekt type:
Project status: finished

Publications to the project

hits: 2

  1. Gömann H, Kreins P, Münch J, Delzeit R (2011) Auswirkungen der Novellierung des Erneuerbare-Energie-Gesetzes auf die Landwirtschaft in Deutschland. Schr Gesellsch Wirtsch Sozialwiss Landbaues 46:189-201
  2. Gömann H, Kreins P, Breuer T (2008) Einfluss steigender Weltagrarpreise auf die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit des Energiemaisanbaus in Deutschland. Schr Gesellsch Wirtsch Sozialwiss Landbaues 43:517-527