Georg Eisenreich, Bavarian Minister of Justice, on a two-tank tractor that runs on biodiesel and rapeseed oil at Landsberg Prison.

Climate protection in the Bavarian correctional system - the measures in detail

Position Prisons in Bavaria
(19 nurseries and farms in total)
Conversion 70 vehicles in total
Fuels Biodiesel, Rapsöl
Responsible Bavarian State Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Forestry
Support TFZ Straubing


Bavarian prisons switch to climate-friendly fuels

For many years now, the members of the "Industry Platform for Biofuels in Agriculture and Forestry" have been fighting for the use of domestic resources as a fossil alternative throughout Germany if not Europe. In some institutions and political ranks, little profound misconceptions seem to have manifested themselves, such as the "leaching of soils through monoculture with rapeseed" (side note: rapeseed as a cruciferous crop can never be cultivated on the same area within at least 3 years) or the well-known, albeit unobjective, tank plate discussion. The Bavarian state government, on the other hand, attributes great importance to biofuels in terms of climate protection, because the Free State is striving for a pioneering role with regard to achieving climate neutrality and is specifically targeting the area of state administration in this respect.

In a 10-point plan, the government focuses on priority areas such as forests, wetlands, water and energy, but also wants to sweep its own door: Under the heading "Point 10: Climate Neutrality of the State and Municipalities" with a special item "Model Free State of Bavaria", the state administration is to be climate-neutral by 2030 at the latest, and state procurement by 2030. One of the measures essential for this is the "climate-compatible management of state estates as well as the agricultural and horticultural operations of correctional institutions"; according to the Minister of Justice, Georg Eisenreich, this measure relates to 19 sites in ten correctional institutions.

This project is costing the Free State something: around 400,000 euros were spent in 2020 alone on the conversion of commercial vehicles to renewable energy sources, including the necessary infrastructure, and up to 7.5 million euros are calculated for the period up to 2030.

The farms and nurseries of the correctional facilities have already taken steps toward sustainability, among other things by already cultivating 50% of their land ecologically. The next initiative within the framework of the Bavarian Climate Protection Offensive is now precisely to convert motors of the agriculture and forestry vehicles completely to regenerative energy sources in the coming years.

Climate protection in the Bavarian correctional system - the measures in detail:

Conversion: The 10-points plan for the climate protection offensive provides for the conversion of all agricultural and horticultural commercial vehicles in the correctional facilities' farms and market gardens to regenerative drive systems. Over 70 vehicles are covered by the measure.

Pioneer: The Ebrach correctional facility's nursery, which is certified as an organic operation, will be the first to switch completely to fossil fuel-free operation; the tractor and small gasoline-powered equipment will be replaced by e-models. The nursery is already heated by connecting to the correctional facility's woodchip plant.

Fleet renewal: Older commercial vehicles and tractors will gradually be replaced by new models that can be fueled in a climate-friendly manner. Where possible, newer vehicles will be converted to use renewable energy sources with appropriate kits. The institution works in this matter closely with the Technology and Promotion Center at the Competence Center for Renewable Resources (TFZ) in Straubing on this.

Next steps: The prisons in Bayreuth and Landsberg will be the first to be equipped with two-tank tractors that run on biodiesel and rapeseed oil.


For years, Agriculture Minister Michaela Kaniber and numerous colleagues have been calling for the Bavarian state government to continue to lobby at the federal level for the continuation of the tax exemption for pure biofuels used in agriculture and forestry.(2) Shortly before Christmas 2020, the European Commission announced that the approval under state aid law for the tax relief for biofuels used in agriculture and forestry would at least be extended until December 31, 2021. Farmers who operate their vehicles and machinery with biodiesel and pure vegetable oil will therefore continue to receive a tax rebate of 45 Ct/l from the tax authorities.

This gives the "Industry Platform for Biofuels in Agriculture and Forestry" and its comrades-in-arms the opportunity to continue to fight for a long-term assurance of this tax relief in order to be able to effectively and immediately serve the ambitious goal of CO2 savings at the same time.

So far, 21 tractors with climate-friendly fuels are already on the road in the agriculture department, as well as a timber harvester, and four smaller vehicles with electric drives. Employees of the Technology and Promotion Center at the Competence Center for Renewable Resources in Straubing,  provide interested parties with the information they have already gathered through their extensive experience.

In addition to achieving the goals it has set itself, the Bavarian Ministry of State also hopes above all that the other German states will be motivated to take similar measures - perhaps in order to signal to the German government that they are willing and able to do so.

Detailed information can be found at:

(1) (only in German available)

(2) (only in        German available)