BECoop at a glance
Over the last years, the EU has witnessed some remarkable steps in Renewable Energy (RE) deployment. However, at the same time, we see an increasingly uneven penetration of RE across the different energy sectors, with the heating and cooling sector lagging behind. Community bioenergy schemes can play a catalytic role in the market uptake of bioenergy heating technologies and can strongly support the increase of renewables penetration in the heating and cooling sector, contributing to the EU target for increasing renewable heat within this next decade. However, compared to other RES, bioenergy has a remarkably slower development pace in the decentralised energy production which is a model that is set to play a crucial role in the future of the energy transition in the EU.
The ambition of the EU-funded BECoop project is to provide the necessary conditions and technical as well as business support tools for unlocking the underlying market potential of community bioenergy. The project’s goal is to make community bioenergy projects more appealing to potential interested actors and to foster new links and partnerships among the international bioenergy community.
BECoop will specifically equip administrative authorities with support tools and skills (capacity building activities) so as to enable them to promote (as policy enablers, project facilitators and beneficiaries) such new forms of energy system governance and allow them to equally compete with other energy market actors. It is important to note that these tools are designed to be useful both as standalone tools to serve particular needs, but also as a cohesive and complete set of tools that can accompany and accommodate the needs of existing or prospective bioenergy communities in their various steps of development. These various support tools include:
- A Self-Assessment Tool, as an easy-to-use tool for all possible actors and aspiring entrepreneurs of new cooperative bioenergy projects to support them asses their position and suggest steps to initiate a new bioenergy business
- A Toolkit, developed as an online repository of already existing tools that can work complementary to the BECoop support services in supporting the development and operation of community bioenergy and heating projects
- An e-market platform, as a digital platform to act as a virtual environment for biomass heating and supply chains for educational and informative purposes.
- The BECoop catalogues for technical, business and financial support services
- A Knowledge Exchange Platform, as both a knowledge repository of relevant community bioenergy resources and digital host for the liaison structure among the EU actors of RE heating and community bioenergy, namely the Network of Interest. The Knowledge Exchange Platform will host all the tools developed and knowledge generated by the project to facilitate ease of access for the project duration and post project replication and exploitation
On top of these, the project will ignite a policy debate at a local and EU level, through workshops and advocacy activities, aiming to streamline the BECoop policy recommendations to the actual support needs of policy makers. The BECoop process is deployed to 4 complementary cases of RESCoops and authorities across Europe (see pilot cases).
In this context, the Network of Interest comprises of a range of relevant stakeholders in the field of community bioenergy with activity in both local and European settings who are strategically involved in key stages of the project to contribute with their expertise and experience, whilst expressing the needs as members of the community energy value chain for the successful deployment of community bioenergy projects.
The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952930. You can find out more at: https://www.becoop-project.eu/