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This is the end...
While we start 2024 full of energy and ready to share all the great work we accomplished last year, it is also on a sad note, as the BECoop project ended in October 2023 and this is therefore the last issue of our newsletter! 12 partners worked for 3 years to provide the necessary conditions, technical as well as business support tools, for unlocking the underlying market potential of community bioenergy.
Let’s begin with a recap! We are excited to share all the materials from our final event, RE-energising Europe. In Brussels last October 24-25, BECoop was one of 7 projects that came together to share their results and discuss many topics, such as energy communities, energy efficiency, multiple benefits, women-led initiatives and much more! The event, with over 100 participants each day, was a unique opportunity to come together and hear about the research developed in the past 3 years. We release now the after-event material, including posters, slide decks, and recordings of the event.
Some final news on our replication cases. BECoop on its mission to empower stakeholders and educate them about the potential of community bioenergy, chose eight follower cases from seven different countries: Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland, Bulgaria, Belgium, and Romania. Read all about the unique journeys to explore their regional potential, pinpoint local energy requirements, assess biomass resources, and determine the most fitting technologies.
A key project output of BECoop was the development of 5 policy roadmaps, one for each of our pilot cases (Italy, Greece, Poland and Spain) and one for EU level. The roadmaps provide practical policy suggestions, along with a schedule and sequence of recommended measures.
The BECoop team gathered in September in Greece to visit the Karditsa pilot and prepare for the project last steps: we produced two videos sharing the inspiring story of the Energy Community of Karditsa, pioneers in citizen energy communities. The BECoop team got to witness first-hand the impacts of climate change (the Thessaly Region was hit with severe amounts of rain in September 2023) and the resilience of the local communities affected by it.
BECoop Newsletter #6 - June 2023
Welcome to the summer edition of our BECoop newsletter!
We are happy to, once again, share a lot of news and resources from BECoop, aiming at unlocking the community bioenergy potential.
Firstly, we are excited to announce the long-awaited details of our final event, a collaborative gathering that is truly exceptional as it brings together 7 projects to share their outcomes and facilitate discussions on a range of topics. Join us in Brussels, October 24 and 25!
BECoop partners have also produced a comprehensive guide for community-based bioenergy projects, designed to simplify the process of creating a community-based bioenergy project. Its purpose is to encourage readers to envision a sustainable and equitable local heating system for their community and to take concrete steps towards its implementation. This year, we had the opportunity to visit 2 of our pilot areas in Italy and Spain, capturing images and stories that allow you to virtually join us and experience the journey. Small-scale demonstration activities were carried-out and introduced by the team, including for instance the analyses of coffee + pruning pellets, combustion tests in the Spanish RESCoop, production of biomass in small scale and combustion in the retrofitted coal-fired boiler in Poland and the production of pellet and essential oil in Italy. Additionally, the team delved into investigating safety aspects related to the use of pellets in households in Poland. In the article and briefing, you will find insightful lessons learned from these activities. Topics covered include the implementation of circular economy principles, optimizing the process of utilising DH process heat for pellet and essential oil production, promoting sustainable forest management, and delivering effective “territorial” marketing strategies, among others.
In terms of events, our series of informative webinar is now over – get to know more about biomass combustion, the BECoop tools, district heating, biogas plants, RESCOOPs and much more. BECoop and its sister projects have been busy: while new events were organised and you can find their recordings in this issue, a collaborative briefing gathered 10 projects in thinking how energy communities can be a tool to alleviate energy poverty.
Finally, we have recruited our “replication cases”, who will receive support in their pursuit of developing community bioenergy heating projects. These cases will benefit from focused meetings covering technical, business, and financial aspects, as well as assistance in drafting a roadmap and exploring the BECoop tools. Cases include the Plovdiv Bulgarian energy agency, Ecopower (Belgium), CommonEn (Greece) and the Sustainable Village – North East Region, Moldova Association (SVA) (Romania ).
BECoop Newsletter #5 - February 2023
A special issue focusing on BECoop’s call for follower cases, the material developed to raise awareness about bioenergy communities, and the upcoming series of webinars organised on all BECoop key topics.
The BECoop project is here to provide comprehensive support to 8 energy community initiatives throughout Europe during their initial stages, and offer an extensive introduction on how to apply the BECoop methodologies, tools and services (technical, business) and the replication guide of the project. BECoop partners will guide the awarded projects to implement the BECoop Replication Guide so as to support them in the first steps of developing a community bioenergy heating project and help them design a respective roadmap. 8 projects will be supported by BECoop (now selected).
BECoop Newsletter #4 - January 2023
November 2022, BECoop partners met in Italy (Tirano, one of the project pilot areas), for a meeting organised by fiper, topped with a visit of the new biomass community and Valtellina district heating plant (TCVVV) to show partners how it works, where the sustainable biomass comes from, how it delivers energy to the mountain valley and much more. We heard from 3 mayors and a forest manager who explained the bioenergy impact on the local communities and on the forest management, a virtuous circle to prevent climatic disasters impacts. A short video takes you with us on that journey!
As you know now, BECoop promotes a responsible, local, small-scale and sustainable use of biomass resources. We were happy to read the IPCC report released before the summer 2022, highlighting the bioenergy potential as important tool to achieve climate change mitigation if done in small-scales, sustainably and well planned. “The European Union could “triple” the amount of biomass produced on a sustainable basis over the coming decades while helping restore land degraded by industrial pollution, poor agriculture, erosion and climate change”, says André Faaij in an article for EURACTIV. Later that summer, German MEP Markus Pieper posted on Twitter that the “expansion of the renewable energy target to 45% by 2030 was possible with innovation quotas, more cross-border projects, biomass and diversified imports”.
BECoop Newsletter #3 - March 2022
Earlier studies realised by BECoop showed that the knowledge and acceptance of bioenergy varies from region to region in Europe, making it an untapped source of renewable energy compared to other sources such as solar or wind. To ensure bioenergy’s market expansion –with high potential for replacing fossil fuelled heat and therefore very important in the current geopolitical situation-, solutions, data and tools are needed to support market players.
BECoop participates in such an effort in many ways, one being to provide stakeholders with the right tools to kick start – or operate their projects, as you will find out in this issue of our newsletter. We have developed catalogues and factsheets, presenting technical and financial aspects, two tools were added to our portfolio of supporting outcomes, and a short video was prepared to show, in 2 minutes, what bioenergy and energy communities are, the benefits they bring to many stakeholders and how their combination is the perfect fit.
BECoop Newsletter #2 - December 2021
Bioenergy has huge potential but is currently underdeveloped in Europe. Our analysis shows that the knowledge and acceptance of biofuel varies from region to region. Overall, however, it remains fairly untapped compared to other sources of renewable energy such as solar and wind power. The insights from our surveys on European citizens’ preferences, acceptance levels and willingness to join a bioenergy community can now help us better understand the main facilitators and hindering factors in this area. The findings also allow us to better communicate to build awareness and increase people’s interest in community bioenergy.
You will read and access in this newsletter what BECoop partners developed in the first project year, setting the stage for the second phase, the pilot one. BECoop will soon launch 4 pilot initiatives in 4 European countries: Greece, Spain, Italy, Poland and Spain.
BECoop Newsletter #1 - April 2021
BECoop – News #1 – Unlocking the community bioenergy potential
Read about bioenergy potential, our pilot solutions in Italy, Spain, Greece, Poland, the tools that we offer for #cooperatives, and much more.
Please click here for the first newsletter of the H2020-funded project BECoop.