Willing to heat your home next winter through a (bio)energy community? Get support from BECoop to set it up!

While bioenergy holds, in practice, the highest potential for replacing (imported) fossil fuelled heat and remains a leading technology in the EU renewable energy heating sector, there is a significantly untapped market uptake potential for it. BECoop, a project funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, has been studying and accompanying community (bio)energy projects, focusing on 4 pilots in Italy, Spain, Poland and Greece, and is now ready to offer 4 additional communities in the making with its support!

BECoop partners have been working for the past years on developing tools and resources to support the establishment and growth of energy communities, focusing on biomass for heating. To ensure the recent growth in such projects continues, and for both citizens and the public sector to join in on the movement towards a more effective, fair, local and democratised energy transition, BECoop launches an open call to find follower cases of energy communities. The project experts will support the selected cases during their first steps, replicating the project guidebook and using the project tools.

Several barriers prevent citizens from becoming (bio)energy producers and bioenergy projects to be more appealing, including a lack of preparedness for communities to tap the full bioenergy market potential, and a lack of bioenergy stakeholders’ awareness of the potential of communities. BECoop aims to overcome these barriers by providing 4 follower cases support to develop a community bioenergy heating project. Applications are welcome from across Europe, excluding the 4 project pilot countries where support is already active (Italy, Poland, Greece and Spain).

Biomass contributes as much as 60% in reaching the EU objectives for climate and energy (Eurostat, 2021) and is a flexible and trustable solution that can support both citizens and the industry, in a virtuous cycle. Bioenergy for heating is quite competitive if used in an efficient manner and can further reduce energy poverty: it can be up to four times cheaper compared with natural gas or electrical heating. It is an available, storable, local, renewable alternative, allowing local economies to thrive. On top of reducing energy poverty and dependency, bioenergy also allows (local) job creation, and revenues for the municipalities. Bioenergy communities, in a circular community approach, empower individuals and territories that embrace it, increasing energy independence, security and resilience through local resources. It allows heating cost savings at a lower environmental impact (CO2 emission reduction), increasing social benefits in terms of wellbeing, job creation and reduced energy poverty. Interest in these models is growing across Europe, both by private and public actors.

The energy community initiatives throughout Europe will receive 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. Once the Open Call is closed, the received applications will be evaluated by our BECoop consortium expert partners. The technical, financial and business supporting services are expected to be provided within the period of Αpril/May – September/October 2023.

We greatly appreciate your participation and look forward to receiving your application.

The call is open from February 1 to March 31.