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BECoop launches bioenergy self-assessment tool for community projects

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BECoop, a project funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, has released a bioenergy self-assessment tool for community projects.

Horizon 2020 was the EU's research and innovation funding programme from 2014-2020 with a budget of nearly €80 billion. The initiative has been succeeded by Horizon Europe.

Earlier studies by BECoop have shown that the knowledge and acceptance of biomass for energy vary from region to region in Europe, making it an untapped source of renewable energy compared to other sources, such as solar or wind. To ensure bioenergy’s market expansion tools like the self-assessment tool are needed to support market players.

Last week, the International Energy Agency shared its 10-Point Plan to Reduce the European Union’s Reliance on Russian Natural Gas, including the maximisation of power generation from existing dispatchable low-emission sources - bioenergy and nuclear, calling on appropriate incentives and sustainable supplies of bioenergy to be put in place.

Designed for non-specialised, non-experienced users seeking to assess the current state of a cooperative or community bioenergy project, the tool supports various users (e.g. provider, facility operators, RESCoops, local or regional authorities) by providing an evaluation methodology, a set of indicators, metrics, definitions and technical as well as businesses recommendations. This is provided after the user answers a few questions on the resources available, the activity that best represents their initiative, and more. The information is presented in a ‘spider web’ rating, visualising the final results.

To enable the several market actors involved to become bioenergy producers, the BECoop self-assessment tool supports communities in preparing to tap into the full bioenergy market potential, making them aware of the potential held by their projects.

Users can assess the current status and future potential of community bioenergy, revealing and better understanding the gaps; maturity levels for the adoption of bioenergy heating; their level of community engagement, as well as the complexity of the existing framework for procurement and policy design.

Users can select the type of biomass resources available, such as agricultural, forestry, agro-industrial, biomass from urban parks and garden management, and wet biomass. They can also answer questions on the activity they wish to implement, which will help define the level of user engagement; technical, business and financial solution maturity, and the social and environmental impact.

Recommended actions appear when the user has answered all questions, guiding them to supporting resources. A score will be assigned depending on the option chosen, presenting the project outcomes.

Visit the self-assessment tool at: becoop.fcirce.es/self-assessment