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BiogasAction: Promotion of sustainable biogas production in EU

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BiogasAction (BiogasAction: Promotion of sustainable biogas production in EU)

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2018-12-31

The BiogasAction project’s ambition has been to serve as vehicle for the further development of the European biogas/biomethane sector and thereby contribute to the EU 2020 targets by focusing on removing non-technical barriers to widespread production of biogas from manure and other waste.
• Identify and disseminate proven support strategies and guidelines, to fulfil the potential for biogas and biomethane development in Europe: The project aimed to define a strategy for the overall promotion of biogas sector development in the EU, and put up comprehensive tools on how to fulfil the potential for biogas and biomethane development in Europe, based on proven support strategies
• Define and implement a specific biogas/biomethane intervention strategy aiming to boost biogas development in the project’s target countries/regions: Auvergne-Rhonalp and Western part of France, Wales/UK, Croatia, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Denmark, Latvia and South-East Sweden
• Learning, knowledge and experience exchange within and beyond the target areas and the project life time: The proposal establishes systematic knowledge sharing though learning and networking which aims to be replicated beyond the geographic target areas and after the project lifetime, at broad European level, in order to mobilize other stakeholders, influence market conditions and support the implementation of ”biogas-friendly” frameworks
Guidelines (Toolbox) for biogas development:
BiogasAction, led by the European Biogas Association (EBA), has compiled comprehensive tools and guidelines aiming to achieve the project’s ambition of an unbiased and rapid regional development of the European biogas/biomethane sector. At final stage has been achieved:
• Compilation of reports and tools for regional biogas deployment
• Brochure of Europe’s 10 most interesting projects
• Data bank with existing incentives and subsequent development of biogas plants compared to national targets
• Comprehensive guidelines for biogas promotion at regional/local scale with associated institutional-building, tools development and market support
• Interactive database of tools for the development of a biogas project (Toolbox)
An interactive database has been developed, including description and evaluation of general supportive documents, boundary conditions in particular regions and projects, analysis of target audience for particular measures. The data has been processed to provide user-friendly filtering system and data base for online data research. New tools were added though-out the action and, all together, 180 tools have been integrated at the project finalisation.

Intervention in the nine target regions:

A cornerstone in BiogasAction has been to seek practical ways of overcoming barriers to sustainable biogas utilisation in the nine target countries/regions. This efforts have taken place within the following common themes across the regions: Intervention strategies and institutional-building, strengthening the biogas sector framework, optimizing business models and financing of biogas projects, optimizing biogas production and assistance to specific high-quality biogas project development. The efforts in the regions have been carefully monitored underway and there has been organised exchange between the regions for mutual benefits. Notably, this has happened in relation to the project meetings, where in-depth evaluation of the lessons learned have been organised in form of internal workshops.

Dissemination and Exploitation of results:

BiogasAction entailed a structured and well-coordinated dissemination and communication effort, aiming to reach out to the European biogas community. At the European level BiogasAction has been presented, notably via EBA, the European Biogas Association, and Fedarene, the European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment, at several EU level events. Along with this, all project partners were involved in building synergies. BiogasAction was also promoted through different platforms, among those the Biorefine Cluster Europe and the Covenant of Mayors. This has been supplemented with various dissemination efforts at the regional level in the nine target regions.
The evaluation of its achievements shows that BiogasAction has provided assistance to the development 26 specific high-quality biogas projects. In addition, the regional partners have helped to optimise business models and financing of 41 biogas projects. The triggering of new biogas plants corresponds to an investment volume of around 86 MEUR, which is 48% and 26% higher than resp. the original low and high target set for the action. In terms of CO2 savings the achievements are impressively 143% and 94% higher than resp. the original low and high target.

Divided over the project themes the impact has been assessed as follows:

• Intervention strategies and Institutional-building
All 9 country partners have succeeded in establishing or reinforcing national or regional platforms. As such the BiogasAction project has contributed to strengthening the engagement of key stakeholders and created an important basis for capacity building and enhanced coordination of various initiatives and actions towards increased market uptake of biogas. The project activities and results are verified by testimonials from relevant stakeholders.

• Strengthening the biogas sector framework
All the 9 regional partners have actively worked on strengthening the biogas framework (including influencing policy makers) through conferences, workshops, networking and bilateral meetings. As such the project has contributed to influence the policy framework. It was also essential to engage farmer associations, financing institutions and other relevant actors in this process.

• Optimizing business models and financing of biogas projects
All 9 regional partners have actively worked with business or financing models for different types of project (41 in total for all regions). In all countries local particularities have been considered and relevant stakeholders have been involved, which will facilitate the further market uptake. Follow-up activities beyond the project period is planned in all the target regions, such as continued cooperation with stakeholders about business models and opportunities.

• Optimizing biogas production
In total 54 training sessions have been implemented in the 9 target regions and 2 training packages according to the local demand. The established or enhanced network cooperation together with planned training after the project is assessed to contribute significantly to permanent training structures.

• Assistance to specific high-quality biogas project development
Through the 26 projects supported the target regions have exploited specific opportunities for biogas production and have supported potential entrepreneurs to develop their project. The support consisted of practical assistance to farmers and other target groups in relation to strategy development, feasibility analysis, tender specifications and procurement procedures.

In addition to these achievements on the ground the BiogasAction consortium has multiplied its efforts by an effective replication and dissemination programme reaching out to developing regions with biogas development potential and to biogas stakeholders at broad European level.