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Development of sustainable heat markets for biogas plants in Europe (BIOGASHEAT)

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In many European countries the production and use of biogas is increasingly recognised as a sustainable energy option. Great developments were achieved in several countries for the installation of agricultural biogas plants, most of which produce electricity in CHP plants. However, in many cases the heat from the CHP plant is wasted. This causes macro and microeconomic losses and challenges in an overall increasing land use competition. The BiogasHeat project addressed the problem of efficient usage of biogas plants' heat. Thereby a set of different policy, best practice, field tests and project implementation measures have been developed. New and existing plants in emerging European biogas markets were targeted and concrete solutions to efficiently use the heat were proposed and demonstrated. The project built on a framework and market analysis on the use of biogas heat, developing promising business models and entrepreneurial strategies for the use and recovery of biogas heat. These models and strategies were field tested in cooperation with relevant key actors, like farmers, biogas operators, municipalities and district heating companies.


  • The handbook on "Sustainable Heat use from Biogas Plants" available in English, Croatian, Czech, Danish, German, Italian, Latvian and Romanian.
  • The completion of 65 out of 80 pre-feasibility studies on strategies and business models for the utilization of heat from biogas plants.
  • The participation of more than 500 national stakeholders in the first round of national workshops.
  • The development and field testing of 10 business cases on heat use from biogas plants. Direct technical assistance to biogas heat market actors through Helpdesk and a FAQ list.
  • The development of recommendations for national policy makers for the enforcement of heat use from biogas plants. The organisation of roundtable discussions with policy makers.

Lessons learned

  • Most of the biogas plant owners are aware of the need to use heat efficiently, however not all of them are informed about various heat use options. The handbook “Sustainable Heat use from Biogas Plants” and a comprehensive review on good practice examples prepared under the Biogasheat project make for a useful information and were appreciated by key actors of the project.
  • The main driver for biogas plant owners and investors to start using heat efficiently is the overall economy of the plant. Heat sales are seen as good opportunity to increase the profit of biogas plant operation. This applies as well to biogas plants that initially did not have mandatory efficiency requirements set by national legislation.
  • A major challenge is to establish good cooperation with existing biogas plant owners and investors to start feasibility studies on sustainable heat use solutions for their biogas plants. Many of them are reluctant in sharing technical and economic data on the performance of their plants.

Partners and coordinator

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3-3 Noliktavas
Riga LV1010
Contact point: 
Ilze Dzene


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In brief

05/04/2012 to 04/04/2015
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