1.1 Determination of biogas potential from grass residues.
The main objective of this task is to map the availability of different grass residue flows within the participating regions, as well as to catalogue the biomass quality of different categories of grass residues. This will allow the identification of the most productive locations for grass residues fit (in terms of volumes and quality) for biogas valorisation. This identification of productive locations will be joined together with other reports in order to create match-makings between local grass residue producers and biogas plants. These will serve as the basis for the development of business plans for a value chain between producers and biogas plants, along with joint declarations of intent to invest in such a value chain, and the establishment of supply contracts.em>
1.2 BATs and best practices for grass residue collection and valorisation into biogas.
This report will give an overview of the best available technologies for the grass residue biogas value chain, including mowing, purification, storage, logistics, digestion processes and biogas valorisation methods. Special emphasis will be placed on the feedstock quality requirements which digestion processes put on grass residue flows, and which technologies are available along the value chain so that these feedstock quality requirements can be met.
1.3 Environmental and socio-economic analysis of grass residues-to-biogas chains.
The objective of this task is to elaborate by means of Life Cycle Analysis and Cost Benefit Analysis the environmental and socio-economic benefits which the implementation of grass value chains and use of grass residues as biogas feedstock can have, as well as to benchmark the optimal manner in which such value chains can be organized so that the cost-benefit balance for both grass residue producers and biogas plants (or integrated composting plants) can be optimal. This includes the integration of BATs, but also work place analysis and strategies for green job creation, in order to elucidate how green jobs, in particular for workers with low employability profiles, can be created in the management and energy valorisation of landscape maintenance residues.
1.4 Legal framework, policy support and development of mechanisms for overcoming nontechnical barriers.
The different legal frameworks impacting on grass residue valorisation in the participating regions will be considered in this task, including incentives. This pertains to waste management and environmental protection regulations, renewable energy generation regulations, as well as regulations on public financing of services of general interest (SGIs). In the context of the latter, the needs for public financing and strategies for the use of social economy (partially publicly subsidized labour) in grass residue sourcing will be worked out. The lessons learned from these activities will be summarized into a SWOT analysis.
2. Business development.
After having introduced the project to the stakeholders in workshops, business plans will be drawn up for both grass residue producers (such as municipalities or intermunicipal associations) to develop the supply side of the grass residue value chain, and for biogas plants to invest in the handling and processing of grass residues. Study tours will enhance dissemination to the stakeholders. To counter the so called ‘chicken-and-egg’ problem, i.e. the problem of different parties along a potential value chain not making investment decisions because they await the investment of the others first, joint declarations of intent will be drawn up by parties along a specific value chain, indicating their joint intent to invest. For the most successful matches between producers and biogas plants, the project aims to go one step further and cause the establishment of supply contracts between them. For large-scale composting facilities processing grass residues, feasibility studies will be executed to assess the feasibility of integrating a biogas recovery stage in their process.
3. Communication and dissemination.
Throughout the project the objective is to disseminate the lessons learnt and results from the other tasks to the public, in order to trigger action on the development of grass residue value chains amongst stakeholders which could not be intensively engaged with throughout the project. This will be done through the project website where developed tools and documents will be made available, electronic newsletters, the final result oriented report, final regional project conferences, and participation in other conferences.