More than 60 participants from across Europe and beyond gathered on 12 May to attend the first of a variety of coaching events aiming at increasing the efficiency of biogas incineration through heat utilisation. (click on the names of the speakers to access their presentations)
Heating demand accounts for nearly half our energy demands in Europe. Therefore, efficient supply mechanisms are crucial not just when it comes to Europe’s 2020 targets but also when dealing with import dependency and pricing issues. Paul Voss, Managing Director of Euroheat & Power, expressed his honest sympathy for the BiogasHeat project as it tackles the ‘elephant in the room’. As also Ilze Dzene, coordinator of the IEE-funded BiogasHeat project, agreed, heat from biogas is a domestic, green and cheap energy source, providing citizens with affordable, sustainable and secure comfort.
The BiogasHeat project started with the recognition that Europe wastes more (heat) energy than it imports and that this needs to change. The case of biogas is a special one, as the market is highly regulated an supported and plant owners often operate onbasis of public tariffs. The first step of the project was to map out the biogas markets in the nine target countries (AT, CZ, DE, DK, IT, HR, LV, PO, RO) and to compare economic, legal and political framework conditions. At the same time, heat utilisation options were identified and assessed. As the result shows, both, framework conditions and utilisation options, are highly diverse and depend on the country but also on the location of the biogas facility.
Missing awareness and limited knowledge, the variety of solutions, the high influence of framework conditions and more make it apparent that every case needs to be evaluated carefully in order to find the best option for all involved parties. In a second step, the project partners developed heat utilisation strategies based on a list of best practice examples that were collected across Europe. These strategies have served as starting point for the planning of heat utilisation facilities and have allowed for the implementation of a broad range of feasibility checks, providing operators and planners with a professional evaluation of their options and their situation including a way forward.
Building on this experience the consortium then started to wok on business cases, i.e. dealing with the realisation of heat utilisation project across the target countries. These cases produce economically and ecologically sound business options which are implemented in cooperation with the local communities.
Starting with this workshop, the project partners pass on the gathered knowledge and all experiences to all interested parties mainly aiming at operators, planners, heat consumers and authorities. Following presentations on the results of the three steps given by the respective responsible partner (Dominik Rutz, WIP, Christof Amann, e7, Tomas Vorisek, SEVEn), the workshop participants had the opportunity to learn more about their field of interest and to get engaged in discussions with the group. Two parallel sessions focused on the operators’ and on the authorities’ point of view offering more detailed approaches and cases.
The session for planners brought Agata Przadka, European Biogas Association, and Miroslav Kajan, President of the Czech biogas association, together with Christof Amann and Tomas Vorisek. The four speakers started with EU-wide issues before breaking them down in strategies, business cases and first-hand examples. Thanks to the participants a lively discussion developed.
The session for authorities started with a short analysis of the European political framework by Ingo Wagner, DHC+ Technology Platform, and continued with Rita Mergner’s, WIP, assessment of the national conditions. This framework part was complemented by Cristian Mihai Adamescu, Mangus Sol, who gave an intriguing overview over the influence of bureaucracy on the sector, and Roberto Picello’s presentation of the City of Este’s municipal best practice example.
This first coaching workshop was a great success not just providing knowledge to the participantsbut also providing feed-back to the consortium. This feed-back will be used to update the project results in order to be able to offer even more targeted and tailored coachings in the next months. From September on the consortium will host round table discussions in all project countries bringing together planners, operators, consumers, policy makers and more for knowledge exchange. Invitations will be circulated from July on. At the same time the consortium aims at passing on the gathered expertise to non-project countries. The partners offer a two-step coaching including visits to the coached entities as well as to best practice examples in the country of the coach. The Call for Expressions of Interest is open and can be downloaded on the project website. All interested parties are invited to participate.