This year, we managed to talk to many different partners and actors from the pellet market. Hopefully, we helped you see the scheme from a different perspective and learn a bit more about it and the stakeholders involved. It is also a great pleasure that the last interview for 2022 below is with Christian Rakos who is the manager director of the ENplus® National Partner – proPellets Austria.
Hello Christian, it was a very dynamic year for the energy market and the pellet market in particular. What is your takeaway from 2022?
My takeaway is that our sector will need to implement more storage solutions to be able to handle fluctuations in market supply and demand. It is the only way to become more resilient as energy suppliers. But of course, nobody wants to bear the costs and risks of increasing storage. This is why we have decided at proPellets Austria to lobby for legal storage obligations.
ProPellets Austria is an ENplus® National Licenser for many years. What role does the certification scheme play for the pellet businesses in Austria? What about the pellet consumers?
ENplus® pellets have a market share of approximately 90% in Austria. I still recall the times when inconsistent pellet quality was a steady issue for our sector and created much frustration among consumers. These times are over now, thanks to ENplus®. The number of complaints has dropped to almost zero.
What is your forecast for the next year in regard to the residential pellet market? Challenges and opportunities ahead?
It is very hard to forecast next year. The dramatic price increase of pellets this year will certainly impact the demand for pellet heating systems. However, as other fuels have also increased so much and as the energy crisis may be even worse next year, this impact could be less severe than many fear.
Last but not least, proPellets Austria will be the first to host the European Pellet Forum. What should our readers know about the event?
The European Pellet Forum is a new annual conference organized by European Pellet Associations. The unprecedented volatility in pellet markets makes it more important than ever to hear the latest trends and meet the actors in the sector. We have set up an excellent program and expect a large number of participants, last but not least because the European Pellet Forum is organized one day ahead of the Central European Biomass Conference, a key event of the sector attracting up to 1000 participants. Please visit pellet-forum.eu for the details!