The BEn team wishes you and your family all the best for the New Year.
On 28th of October the BEn team met in Germany at Haus Vogelsang in Datteln-Ahsen, a commune in the model region Emscher Lippe. The meeting place was a former big farm in the region and is presently used as seminar place and office for landscape architects. The heat and hot water supply for the whole office complexe is guaranteed by a wood chip heating system. The wood chips are from around 4000 ha of forest and dumps areas cultivated by Haus Vogelsang. After a short introduction into the local surroundings the results of the work of each WP were presented. The BEn project is in line with the planned procedure and the further steps are conclusive and clear. In spring next year a first version of the web based BEn biomass energy register will presented to the public.
On the second day of the BEn meeting the team visited a biogas plant in Lünen. Two competent employees guided and the team and provided interesting information about the plant: The bioags plant has an installed thermal power of 3,3 MW and of 2,3 MW electrical power. The biogas produced in the plant is transported via a pipeline to 10 CHP-plants spread over the city of Lünen. The electrity produced in the CHP-plants in fed into the public power grid following the Renewable Energies Act. The heat is fed into the local district heating system.
The substrate input of the plant is provided regionally, mainly maize and manure are used for biogas production. The tour ended on the highest point - the top of the Fermenters - in approximately 35 meters height, offering a nice view deep into the Ruhr.
At 2 pm on 26th October BEn project was presented at the EUREGIA fair and congress in Leipzig. The fair was held for the 7th time since its inception in 1998 and was once again a leading platform for European local and regional development. This years overarching motto of the entire fair was “Transnational Cooperation in Europe”, which corresponds significantly to the objectives of the BEn project.
The fair was transnational indeed: over 40 national as well as international events took place and 200 speakers and 73 exhibitors from seven countries attracted more than 2000 visitors from 17 countries. Knowing EUREGIA as a high value international regional development fair, the EU Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn, and the prime minister of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, traveled to Leipzig to participate in this event definately worth seeing. Additionally, numerous federal and state ministers and state secratercies used EUREGIA as a platform to exchange experience.
BEn was brought together with other projects in the hall “Mulit-purpose area 4” under the subtheme “Science and practice in dialogue”. There, the presentation of BEn was able to visualise results of two years of work and present further steps to be taken after the end of the project. The focus of the presentation was the demonstration of the core part of the project: the webbased bioenergy register and its usage possibilites.
Of particular interest were the discussions after the demonstration concerning the general implementation and use of Open Source technology, its expenditure of time required as well as possible synergies with other registers dealing with renewable energies.
The BEn project took part in the poster presentation of the AGIT 2010 in Salzburg, Austria.
For the last two decades, the AGIT fair is beeing seen as a trendsetter and pioneer in the field of geographic information. This year, AGIT took place from the 7th to the 9th July at the University in Salzburg invited international interested parties. The fair combined applied symposium and practical panel exhibition presenting trends and innovation for the geographical information community. At AGIT Michael presented the BEn apporach using open source GIS and utilising open source data. Topics covering energy related questions, especially on renewable energy were discussed and presented. The BEN poster presentation could add vital input to this discussion, especially since there is a growing awareness of integrating bio energy into energy planning processes.
The BEn project took part in the Poster Presentation, at the second UK Open Source GIS conference "OSGIS 2010" which took place in Nottingham on 21-22.06.2010. The OSGIS conference series has a strong international focus and takes a holistic approach in bringing together speakers and delegates from government, academe, industry and open source communities interested in using and implementing open source GIS systems.
Within the BEn-project the open source GIS systems and freely available data are utilised to build the online regional bioenergy registers for the project model regions.
At OSGIS 2010 Kasia, who runs the BEn project in the NE, presented a poster explaining open source GIS implementation in BEn: "Fill INSPIRE with life, with all its challenges! Supporting sustainable bioenergy development in European regions". The poster generated a lot of interest and was well received.
Interesting discussions were carried out during the conference and accompanying workshops. There is definitely a growing interest in open source GIS among scientific institutions and businesses operating in the geoinformation sector, as when skillfully used the open systems (free of charge) prove to be powerful and flexible tools. For more information see www.OSGeo.org.
At the End of April 2010 the team of the project BEn met in Güssing, Austria, to held a project meeting as well as a Synergy Working Meeting with the projects MAKE-IT-BE and BioEnerGIS. On the first day, the so called “Model Güssing” was presented. “Model Güssing” is a strategy for the peripheral and local energy production using all available renewable resources of the region. Additionally, the demonstration site of the region was visited and an active information exchange took place. The separate project meetings took place on the second day. During the BEn meeting, information of the progress of work was presented, current issues and evaluations criteria of quality control were discussed and further steps determined. The Synergy Working Meeting took place on the 30th of April on which approximately 50 people from 3 projects came together to commonly discuss the improvements of the projects and exchange experiences. This meeting was a good opportunity to introduce and welcome the new project officer Emilio Font de Mora, who supervises the three projects. After the speech of the project officer three project speeches followed, each giving an overview of the project referring to the synergies between the three projects. The following two working groups “Networks/Stakeholders&Masterplan” and “Biomass Potential & GIS” gave the chance for a concrete exchange of results and experiences and the development of a common strategy and its next steps. The three-day event was very informative. A harmonisation between the projects took place, contact details were exchanged and common dissemination events were identified. We thank all participants especially the organisers of EEE for the brilliant realisation, the informative conduct and the nice programm.
Two partners of the BEn project (Fraunhofer and RDI) participated in an international symposium on biomass assessment methods and the adjacent workshop on the biomass availability in Europe on the 15-16 April in Brussels.
The symposium and the workshop were organised jointly by the European commission Directorate-Generale of Research and two EU projects "Biomass Energy Europe (BEE)" and "Classification of European Biomass Potential for Bioenergy Using Terrestrial and Earth Observations (CEUBIOM)". The BEn partners used this opportunity to disseminate information about the BEn project and to exchange the views on the biomass availability in Europe. Also the latess results of research on biomass assessment methods has been reviewed, what will be valuable input for the next BEn project meeting in Güssing (Austria) from 28 to 30 April. The last day of the meeting in Austria will be dedicated specifically as a synergy working group meeting with the projects MAKE-IT-BE and BioEnerGIS to harmonise the key projects working areas.
...and again a productive and motivating project meeting was successfully concluded. From January 27 to 29, the BEn team met in Hexham, county of Northumberland, UK. The meeting focussed on the detail planning for the biomass energy register, i.e. the visualisation of single biomass classes and subclasses, the determination of the methodology for the identification of potentials, and discussions on possible supporting tools for the user when planning biomass projects/installations. A first outline of the biomass energy register prototype was presented to the project group. The biomass energy register can be put into practice only with the help of the stakeholders, this is why the regional network meetings are a central part of the project BEn. Two network meetings have been already held in the four model regions in order to discuss regional biomass actions as well as the requirements and the direction of the biomass energy register. The actor-foccused approach, in combination with the survey on the regional biomass quantities, is considered to be an exellent basis for the identification of potential biomass projects and innovative approaches in the region.
After the project discussion, an introduction to the region around Newcastle was given. Besides and innovative hotel, the Battlesteads country Inn & Restaurant, which features and innovative woodchip burning biomass boiler supplying heating and hot water to the entire hotel and greenhouses using sustainable fuel from forestry only 1 mile away, also a wood flooring and wood materials plant in Hexham was visited. The provider of the wood material plant, Egger company, is comitted to sustainable use of natural resources. Wood residues and recylced wood that cannot be used in the production is utilised as thermal fuel in their own biomass power plants. The tour was completed with a visit to the North Energy offices, one of the longest established and most experienced energy and sustainability consultancies in the UK. Apart from technical discussions, an energetic informal exchange among the BEn partners took place, enjoying the cosiness and hospitality of British countrylife and the lovely scenery of Hexham.