LIFE VINEYARDS4HEAT (V4H) - Vineyards for carbon footprint reduction: a sustainable strategy to use biomass for heat & cold in wineries.

LIFE13 ENV/ES/000776

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Carme RIBAS
Fax: 938171740
Email: cribas@vilafranca.org

Project description:


Half of the total area of land planted with vines globally is found in the European Union. Vineyards represent around 2.5% of the total EU landmass – 3.6 million hectares – of which 96% are devoted to wine production. The wine sector is very important to rural economies in Europe, globally accounting for 45% of wine regions, 65% of production, 57% of global consumption and 70% of exports. France, Greece, Italy and Spain account for more than 50% of world production and trade.

From an environmental point of view, however, the European wine sector faces many challenges. The field burning of agricultural residues produces methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), both greenhouse gases. EU growers currently produce more than 25 million tonnes of woody remains from pruning every year. Most of this waste is left to decompose or burnt onsite.

Spain has the capacity to generate 533 MW from biomass from residues of agro industries and mainly agricultural crop residues. In recent years the development of energy crops and initiatives for the collection, extraction and processing of biomass has increased. The potential biomass available in Spain is estimated to be at least 88 million tonnes of primary biomass, including existing forest biomass residues, agricultural residues, untapped existing mass and energy crops. Around 12 million tonnes of dry secondary biomass residues from agro-industries, such as vines shoots, can be added to this figure.


The project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of an integral governance strategy to mitigate climate change, Vineyards Virtuous Circle (VVC). The strategy is in line with the EU’s energy-climate package, Europe’s roadmap 2050 (especially the air quality targets) and the Spanish National Plan of Air Quality and Atmosphere Protection.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Define an overall strategy for the VVC that will mitigate climate change based on both environmental and socio-economical principles. It will involve all stakeholders of the biomass value chain: biomass suppliers from vineyards, collectors of biomass and consumers of energy, under the supervision of municipality of Vilafranca;
  • Establish a Municipal Company of Services to manage the implementation of the low-carbon process, guaranteeing its socio-economical and environmental feasibility, decentralisation of energy sources and local empowerment both at energy and governance level. In particular, the municipality of Vilafranca will transform its current public water company into one that offers energy services provided by local biomass thus improving energy efficiency, increasing security and reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels;
  • Set up a Biomass Value Chain (BVC) to generate renewable energies locally by using local resources in a cost-effective way. Actions will include collecting the biomass (from 3000 ha of vineyard), drying it and distributing it to boilers installed in two wineries and four public facilities in La Girada;
  • Develop policy recommendations and good practices on the use of vineyards’ biomass that can be transferred to local, regional, national or European authorities.
  • Expected results:

  • Agreed Biomass Roadmap 2025, which establishes a 10-year strategy to transition towards a low-carbon economy;
  • Two wineries and four public facilities heated and cooled through biomass;
  • Reduction of 2.958 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year;,
  • 10 500 MWh/year of renewable energy produced and seven new jobs created (during the course of the project). Around 800 people directly benefiting of the heating supply system;
  • €3.5 million investments mobilised (heating supply system) to sustainably operate the Biomass Descentralised Management System (including industrial distribution); and
  • 600 vine growers and 25 wineries informed about the VVC through an awareness raising campaign.



Environmental issues addressed:


Energy - Supply
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Industry-Production - Food and Beverages
Information - Governance - Public and Stakeholders participation
Waste - Waste use
Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies
Climate change Mitigation - Energy efficiency


use of waste as energy source‚  waste use‚  emission reduction‚  rural area‚  greenhouse gas‚  biomass energy‚  management plan‚  agricultural waste‚  renewable energy

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Ajuntament de Vilafranca del Penedès
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The town of Vilafranca del Penedès is the capital of the region of Penedes. It is situated in an agro-industrial region in which 80% of the land is devoted to the growing of vineyards. Penedes annually produces up to 30 000 tonnes of biomass.
Partners Covides(COVIDES SCCL), Spain Nou Verd(CET Nou Verd, SCCL), Spain Innovi(Associació AEI Innovi (Agrupació Empresarial Innovadora)), Spain


Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000776
Duration 01-JUN-2016 to 30-MAY -2017
Total budget 1,296,842.00 €
EU contribution 518,473.00 €
Project location Cataluña(España)


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Project web site Project's website


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version