I just found this old documentation on youtube about a french guy called jean pain who (back in the 70s!!!) used composting shredded wood piles to heat water, produce methan gas (that used to cook, produce electricity and power his truck) and in the end he used the composted pile to fertilize his garden. have a look and ask yourselfs why not everyone has one of those in their backyards!
i also found a german (www.nativepower.de) and an austrian (www.biomeiler.at) company that build those biomeiler for privat houses, hotels and many other places.
Here you can see how one of native powers biomeiler is build.
jean and ida pain seem to be well known and there is even a "comité jean pain" in belgium.
but i was looking for jean and idas book everywhere and the only helpful information was on the comités webpage. apparently amazon is out of stock and does not even have a photo of the book and you dont get much information from google either. It seems like the book was translated into german, dutch and english.
UPDATE: i found a pdf of the book.
it may take a while to load so be patient.
if you want to learn more go and have a look on youtube, there are lots of projects going on, even in sibiria or have a look at the following links:
do you know anything about this amazing compost pile system?