A focussed strategy for enambling European Farmers to tap into biogas opportunities
Is a follow-on initiative from a successful IEE SAVE project- GERONIMO (EIE/07/220)- that developed the first interactive web portal for EU dairy farmers centred on the theme of on-farm energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (www.dairyenergy.eu), and which also identified a clear opportunity for the uptake of biogas as a cost effective and environmentally friendly method for treating manure, a growing problem for many thousands of dairy farmers across the EU, especially in light of tougher environmental legislation. The EU pig sector also faces similar challenges in terms of manure management and the opportunity to work with both sectors in facilitating biogas technology uptake would pave the way for tapping into huge amounts of unused biogas potential. However, major barriers to uptake include a lack of knowledge and capacity among farmers preventing them from tapping into this unused biogas potential, coupled with policies and legislation in many regions that do not foster favourable frameworks for biogas uptake to flourish.
In view of these barriers, GERONIMO II-BIOGAS will, on the one hand, mobilise a bottom-up effort to assist dairy and pig farmers in quantifying the biogas potential on their farms and working closely with them 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, the implementation of which will commence during the lifetime of the action. On the other hand, the project will ensure that a top down effort is mobilised, whereby best practice in the area of pro-biogas governmental policies, legislation, schemes and incentives from frontrunner regions, such as Germany, Austria and Denmark, is identified and transferred to other EU regions in order to create pro-biogas regional frameworks that remove the barriers from top that are preventing the uptake of biogas technology among farms.