Final conference of the greenGain project
The final conference of the greenGain project has been organised in cooperation with AEBIOM during the annual conference European Bioenergy Future on 21. 11. 2017 in Brussels. The title of the greenGain session Biomass from landscape conservation and maintenance work as a source of renewable energy nicely summarizes the focus of the greenGain project for the last three years. This feedstock presents interesting complementary material for bioenergy operators on a local level. Increased awareness among stakeholders is a key prerequisite to take advantage of these materials which are still underexploited on the European level. Without communication and cooperation between municipalities, service companies and bioenergy operators, the market uptake will hardly reach its full potential. Stable policies supporting renewable energy in the EU provide necessary context, which can strengthen a dense network of biomass consumers.
Speakers presented interesting results of the greenGain project and shared experience from various European regions, outlining how to increase market uptake of biomass residues originating during landscape conservation and maintenance work (LCMW) for renewable energy production. The program has been divided into two main section. First part covering broader context and the second one describing concrete examples of successful initiatives which take advantage of these materials.
During the first section of the day the general context of bioenergy in the EU was provided and policies which facilitate use of this feedstock in European countries for energy purposes were presented as well as opportunities for businesses.
Christiane Volkmann from the Agency for Renewable Resources, coordinator of the project, opened the day with the introduction to the greenGain project and its main activities.
Thomas Schleker from the DG RTD (Research and Innovation) of the European Commission highlighted current and future support of research and innovation on bioenergy and renewable fuels via the Horizon 2020 programme in detail for the LC (low carbon) section.
Wibke Baumgarten from the Agency for Renewable Resources provided the general context for the role of bioenergy and biomass from landscape conservation in the EU countries and regions.
Christiane Volkmann took the stage once more to summarize the relevant policy, finance and governance framework for energy production from this residual biomass in Europe and the general conditions to increase its market uptake.
Klaus Lenz, director of a the consulting company SYNCOM, brought attention to the business cases for this biomass from landscape conservation and how it can be valorised.
Regional experiences, European solutions
In the following section the attention shifted to practical applications with presentations of several initiatives in European regions which are gaining experience in utilizing biomass from landscape conservation and maintenance work and incorporating these materials into their energy systems.
Maider Gomez, researcher at CIRCE, summarized the main results achieved in the biomass assessment and the the pilot experiences, that have been implemented within the greenGain project, covering the Spanish regions Bajo Aragón and Matarraña, German regions Friesland and Rotenburg (Wümme), the Trasimeno community in Italy and Kněžice in Bohemia.
Aline Clalüna from the Chamber of Agriculture Lower Saxony talked in detail about the successes and challenges of producing wood chips after the maintenance of hedgerows in Friesland.
Federico De Filippi, project manager for SOGESCA, then had an opportunity to spend more time describing the rationale to set-up a Biomass Trade and Logistic Centre in Umbria, Italy.
The section was completed by the guest speaker Juanjo Mayans who shared his experience in establishing a successful bioenergy project based on wood pellets in the Serra community in Spain.
Christiane Volkmann closed the event with a reference to the project website and the greenGain.eu INFORMATION PLATFORM where everyone is invited to study results of the greenGain project in more detail.
The final conference was a full success and a great opportunity for the 60 registered participants and also the participants of the EBF conference to get an overview about the main aims and progress of the greenGain project and the great value of using LCMW biomass for energy purposes.
Author: Jan Doležal, Czech Biomass Association