Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


BIOSURF Report Summary

Project ID: 646533

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - BIOSURF (BIOmethane as SUstainable and Renewable Fuel)

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

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Currently, the production of biomethane is not equal to the national demand in various EU countries. The development of a cross-border trading system for biomethane would provide a solution for addressing this discrepancy between national supply and demand levels, similar to the cross-border trading system for renewable electricity. The cross-border trade of biomethane is very limited today, as having a local, sporadic character. In most cases, the international biomethane trade is realised through physical road transport (rather than using the natural gas pipeline network).

The objective of BIOSURF (BIOmethane as SUstainable and Renewable Fuel) is to increase the production and use of biomethane (from animal waste, other waste materials and sustainable biomass), for grid injection and as transport fuel, by removing non-technical barriers and by paving the way towards a European biomethane market.
More specifically, BIOSURF aims to contribute to the development of a Common Biomethane Market, which will be approached through the following funding pillars:
- Establishment of national biomethane registries in every European country
- Cooperation among the national biomethane registries
- European mass-balancing system for biomethane: recognize the European natural gas network as one single balance-circle

Concretely, the intention of the project is:
1) To analyse the value chain from production to use, based on territorial, physical and economic features (specified for different areas, i.e., biofuel for transport, electricity generation, heating & cooling);
2) To analyse, compare and promote biomethane registering, labelling, certification and trade practices in Europe, in order to favour cooperation among the different countries and cross border markets on the basis of the partner countries involved;
3) To address traceability, environmental criteria and quality standards, so aiming to reduce GHG emissions and indirect land-use change (ILUC), to preserve biodiversity and to assess the energy and CO2 balance; to identify the most prominent drivers for CO2-emissions along the value chain as an input for future optimization approaches;
4) To exchange information and best practices all along Europe concerning biomethane policy, regulations support schemes and technical standards.

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

The approach used in the first 18 months of the project has been to work at the same time at two levels:
• at European/national level (in the project countries), where a key national partner has been chosen in each country of the project (e.g., with biogas and farmers nationals associations) addressing the founding aspects of the project reported above
• at regional/inter-regional level, with associations of farmers and biogas/biomethane producers companies, where some specific geographical areas have been selected as the most promising to engage for the production and use of biomethane and in the framework of a more stable and reliable legislative and institutional reference. According to a preliminary analysis, some focus areas have been identified: Tyrol in Austria, Lombardy and Trentino Alto Adige in Italy and Rhône-Alpes in France.
The rationale to move from the country level to the regional one lies in the intention to have a specific focus of the BIOSURF qualifying concepts into a cross-countries geographical area with comparable stages of biomethane development, in order to assess their concrete application in the real life of biomethane production and use, so representing a kind of “embryonic” European common biomethane market.

The project is in the middle of its path and currently is coordinating the present European research and policies and supporting the preparation of future research and policies, in particular:
• the consortium is engaged in coordinating accompanying measures, dissemination, communication, networking, awareness-raising, cooperation with the key stakeholders and decision makers of the biomethane economy within and outside the project, through workshops, conferences, meetings, publications.

• Project partners are working on the preparation and the elaboration of services, studies, products, etc.. most of which have been already achieved:

- comprehensive guidelines for establishing biomethane registries in EU member states not having such registry,

- guidelines to determine the conditions, rules and parameters of Guarantees of Origin,

- technical-economic analyses for tradable biomethane certificates,

- survey to assess availability of customers to pay for market value,

- framework for national/domestic electronic trading platforms and EuropeanBiomethane Electronic Trading Platform,

- technical-administrative proposal to the European Commission for the European natural gas network as a single, closed mass-balancing system,

- guidelines for sustainable biomethane raw material supply,

- methodology on calculating entitlement to CO2 certificates.

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 project team planned to use three types of evaluation in assessing BIOSURF results. These are:
1. Monitoring of project activities and process evaluation
2. Impact Evaluation
3. Policy Evaluation

1. Concerning Monitoring of project activities and process evaluation, within the report D7.1 “Project Evaluation Plan” the BIOSURF specific objectives and outputs were listed by work package.
The table attached below shows the state of the art of project activities and the main results achieved during the first period ( see attachment "Monitoring table", the last column):

2. As for Impact Evaluation, at the beginning of the project a baseline has been built for each project country assessing in particular the following impacts:
a) Increasing the share of sustainable bioenergy in the final energy consumption;
b) Fully addressing the needs for environmental impact assessments, including considerations for indirect impacts and energy balance, and public engagement.
c) Increasing the volume of cross-border biomethane;

Each of the above mentioned impact is assessed through indicators opportunely identified:
o % biomethane produced on total energy consumption
o Emissions reduction
o Volume of cross-border biomethane trade
The results of the Impact Evaluation will be provided within the “Report on Impact Analysis” (D7.3) to be due at the end of the project. So far, no impacts have been detected yet.

3. The aim of Policy Evaluation is to assess the current policy framework on biomethane at EU level and in the project countries, including existing financial support for biomethane development and, thus, to monitor the evolution of those along the duration of BIOSURF project.

At the beginning of the project, each country provided an overview on the policy aims, barriers and targets that are expected to be achieved within the duration of the BIOSURF project.
An update BIOSURF policy targets is provided within the Interim Report (see table 1-2 "Policy Updates" of the Interim Technical Report, Section "Impact"). A comparison between these targets and what have been achieved will be done at the end of the project.

In order to perform the Policy Evaluation process, a set of criteria has been defined in order to identify which measure could be considered successful. Within the “Report on Impact Analysis” a qualitative and quantitative evaluation of each policy will be performed. No results are available yet."

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