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H2020

greenGain Report Summary

Project ID: 646443

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - greenGain (Supporting Sustainable Energy Production from Biomass from Landscape Conservation and Maintenance Work)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-06-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The EU-project greenGain is looking for solutions to strengthen the energy production of woody and herbaceous biomass feedstock from landscape conservation and maintenance work (LCMW) carried out in the public interest. The scope of biomass used is generated during the maintenance of roadsides, watercourses, power lines, areas like parks and cemeteries and the conservation work of recreation areas like nature reserves, but also from private gardens. The main target groups are regional and local players, who are responsible for maintenance and conservation work and for the biomass residue management in their regions. Moreover, the focus will be on service providers - including farmers, forest owners, NGOs, energy providers and consumers.
When working with LCMW material it has to be considered that the supply is spatially scattered and has seasonal fluctuations. Also the quality of the feedstock is often poor and pre-treatments as sieving or drying are necessary. In many cases the actors involved in the LCMW encounter financial and technical constraints or don’t even have clear responsibilities. Adding to all these issues are often unclear legal requirements of waste management and a general lack of information on the biomass (amount, type, location, supply, logistics, etc.).
Still, opposite of these challenges are benefits which make the biomass form LCMW an attractive potential energy source. With the energetic utilisation of this biomass a by-product of regular management of public areas contributes to local energy cycles and renewable energy production. Also the selling of the feedstock or the thereof produced energy, present a possibility for financial compensation of maintenance costs. Finally, regional and local actors can directly profit from the additional gain derived from the LCMW biomass utilisation.
The project shows strategies to build up reliable knowledge on local availability of this feedstock and know-how on issues ranging from logistics to storage and sustainable conversion pathways for the transformation of this feedstock to renewable energy. GreenGain aims to raise awareness of this still widely underused, inefficiently used or even unused biomass resource and to increase the public acceptance of its collection and usage for the production of heat and electricity.
The three year project which started in January 2015 is supported by the Horizon 2020 European program to foster research and innovative solutions in the EU. Eight partners from Germany, Italy, Spain and Czech Republic co-operate with regional stakeholders from seven model regions to reach the following goals:
• trigger the exploitation and coordinate as well as support the market uptake of currently underused biomass sources from LCMW for energy purposes
• mobilize biomass not competing with food and feed production
• assess and develop planning, harvesting, transport, pre-treatment, measuring, energy conversion and financial frameworks
• support local governance processes, develop tools for an active & supportive citizenship and realise a good practices know-how platform
The action will help private and public actors and stakeholders to develop energy projects supporting the commitments of the EU2020 – 2030. The results will be published in reports and good practice databases on categorized supply chains with measurable data like time, energy and financial consumption. Since the resources in question derive from operations done in public interest or even by public order, the project has also the objective to describe the legal and overall societal framework and the predominant goals of each specific landscape or infrastructural element, from which the biomass is obtained.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

To fulfil the objectives in greenGain, the project partners follow a number of approaches. In the first phase information on the already existing knowledge, experiences and good practices from the regional up to the EU level was gathered. To mobilize local biomass, the existing amounts and utilization pathways of the LCMW materials were assessed in co-operation with the model region stakeholders. To describe further limitations and barriers, economic, environmental, social and legal aspects were considered as well. Interviews to gather further qualitative expert information, to validate assumptions and recommendations on basis of the previous literature research and to access information in non-English speaking countries have been performed.
On the regional level the establishment of new value chains by executing pilot experiences is currently being planned to help stakeholders implementing actions and measures where sensible. For this, local governance processes and an active and supportive citizenship are fostered through round tables and local workshops as well. Finally, to reach a wide audience with an extensive data- and knowledge base on LCMW biomass, greenGain manages and provides an EU-wide know-how platform.
Until the end of the first reporting period several results were produced in the different work packages of greenGain. The following list shows the main deliverables, actions and results realised until the mid-term of the project period (June 2016).
• Report on the state of the art of occurrence and use of LCMW material for energy consumption in Europe and on best practice examples
• Status quo assessment and utilization pathways of LCMW materials in the project regions
• Biomass assessment of the promising LCMW types in the project regions
• Outlining and planning of pilot experiences in the project regions
• Online literature and expert interview database on policies, finance tools, legal regulations, public support and good governance
• greenGain Information Platform providing information on LCMW biomass
• Periodical discussion rounds with external experts in three Stakeholder Working Groups
• Periodical publication of newsletter
All results, reports, databases and the newsletter are available on the project homepage and can be downloaded under www.greengain.eu/documents/.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The results mentioned above, which have been realized until the mid-term of the project period, are in line with the planned project progress and with the achievement of the project objectives. The mobilisation and exploitation of currently underused biomass sources from LCMW for energy purposes and the coordination and support for its market uptake will be reached by the finalisation of the pilot experiences and the recommendations gained from them in combination with the results of the Status-quo assessment. The assessment of the single steps and conditions of the pathway of biomass from LCMW has been performed and reported in publicly available deliverables (D4.1, D5.1 & D5.2). The development of a sustainable supply chain to be adapted to further European regions will be enabled through the good practice guidelines at the end of the project.
In summary it can be stated that the current state of the art has been described in a comprehensive manner until the end of the first reporting period. An improvement of the current state, as explained above, will be achieved at the end of the project.
Statements about the progress beyond the expected potential impact like explained in the DoA can’t be made at this stage of the project. The impact of the greenGain project will be increased by the effective dissemination and exploitation of results and various communication activities implemented during the whole course of the project and thereafter. The dissemination activities so far, which include inter alia the first workshop in Czech Republic, presentations of the project and of first results at external conferences and workshops, the website, newsletters and leaflets available in five languages, the Information Platform, the Stakeholder Working Groups and Local Working Groups and the interviews performed, contributed to engage stakeholders and to increase the interest of a broad audience. Stakeholder involvement and dissemination activities are fundamental elements of greenGain. Through communication with the wider public as well as the industrial, scientific and policy communities the value of the greenGain project will be guaranteed.
The current work within the pilot experiences in the model regions is the next big step to elaborate adapted best practices and recommendations, which will be provided to European actors for implementation and to improve the state of the art of the utilisation of biomass from LCMW for energy purposes.

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