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A Focussed Strategy for Enabling European Farmers to Tap into Biogas Opportunities (GERONIMO II-BIOGAS)

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GERONIMO II-BIOGAS follows-on from GERONIMO (EIE/07/220), which developed the 1st interactive web portal for EU dairy farmers on the theme of on-farm energy efficiency and RES (www.dairyenergy.eu) and identified clear interest among farmers to uptake biogas technology as a manure management method. As the EU pig sector also faces challenges in terms of the management of large volumes of manure, the opportunity to work with both sectors in facilitating biogas technology uptake could enable huge amounts of unused biogas potential to be tapped into. To this end, GERONIMO II-BIOGAS will work closely with dairy and pig farmers at grassroots level to quantify the biogas potential on their farms and to capacitate them to draw up robust business plans and strategies for investment in biogas facilities. The most promising plans will be selected as pilot biogas investment projects, which will commence implementation during the action. In parallel, best practice in the area of pro-biogas policies, schemes and incentives from frontrunner regions such as Germany, Austria and Denmark, will be transferred to other EU regions in order to create pro-biogas regional frameworks that remove the barriers from the top that are preventing the uptake of biogas technology among farms.

Results

  • Energy audits will be carried out on 72 dairy and pig farms from across Europe, whereby some 33.7 GWh of unused sustainable biogas energy potential will be identified that could save 135,000 tonnes of CO2;
  • 9 biogas pilot projects will commence implementation during the project to ensure that at least 4,230 MWh of this potential is put onto the market prior to the end of the action, with 16,860 tonnes of CO2 being saved;
  • By capacitating and building the knowledge of these farmers it is expected that a further 60% of this sustainable energy potential should enter the market within 2-3 years of project completion, resulting in 20.2 GWh of electricity being saved and 81,000 tonnes of CO2;
  • By 2020, the leverage effect should have contributed to an additional 50 new biogas projects in Europe, putting 23 GWh on the market and saving some 93,750 tonnes of CO2;
  • Over 5,000 European pig and dairy farmers will have been made aware of the benefits of biogas technology for their farms, and over 300 policy makers and government representatives will have been influenced on future policies, rules or procedures, that will lead to the creation of favourable pro-biogas framework strategies in at least 10 regions across Europe
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Lessons learned

  • Farmers are difficult to reach via new communication channels like the project web platform. The trainings times have to be adjusted to farming activities schedules both in terms of year sessions and hours of the day.
  • Renewable policy frameworks are rapidly changing and thus constitute a main barrier for the uptake of biogas complicating the administrative procedures and reducing the trust among farmers. Along the project duration, major changes in policy have occurred in Spain, Germany, Denmark and Czech Republic.
  • The dimension of the biogas investments has to be adapted to country specific situations. One has to consider technical aspects, such as availability of gas grid, administrative constrains and the current economical situation with financial credit not easily available in many regions of the project. Depending on the country, Geronimo 2-biogas project partners are looking at small scale farm biogas projects or centralised plants where public administration acts as shareholder.
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Partners and coordinator

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Contact

INNOVACIO I RECERCA INDUSTRIAL I SOSTENIBLE SL
Castelldefels
Spain
Contact point: 
Name: 
Ms Mirta Pinilla
Tel: 
(+34) 935 542 500

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In brief

Duration:
01/05/2011 to 31/10/2013
Contract number: 
IEE/10/228

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