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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - BioVill (Bioenergy Villages (BioVill) - Increasing the Market Uptake of Sustainable Bioenergy)


Southeast European countries offer a huge but still untapped potential for renewable energies and energy efficiency. Bioenergy villages enable communities to efficiently meet their energy demands from own renewable resources. They successfully emerged in Europe and combine...


Southeast European countries offer a huge but still untapped potential for renewable energies and energy efficiency. Bioenergy villages enable communities to efficiently meet their energy demands from own renewable resources. They successfully emerged in Europe and combine market-orientation and sustainable energy supply at the municipal level. The BioVill project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme has been set-up to transfer and adapt these experiences to the partner countries Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. GIZ implemented the 3-years project in collaboration with eight partners from the target countries as well as Germany and Austria.
The project approach followed 7 major steps: Selection of target villages, Framework analyses, Knowledge transfer, Assessment of possible bioenergy projects, Stakeholder involvement, Business model development and Dissemination of project results. BioVill used a multi-stakeholder approach fostering an active involvement of citizens and key stakeholders. Main objective was to foster the development of regional bioenergy concepts by identifying biomass value chains and developing business models adapted to local potentials and needs. Major outcome is the initiation of seven bioenergy villages in the target countries up to the investment stage.
The project is considered as very successful, since objectives and impacts were fully achieved, the bioenergy village concept is much better known, public acceptance has increased and consumers are willing to connect to modern biomass heating systems. BioVill proved that the bioenergy village approach is applicable in South-Eastern Europe and thus contributed to increase the market uptake of sustainable bioenergy in the partner countries.

Work performed

The following results were achieved:
Selection of target villages: BioVill selected 7 target villages out of 32 applicants: Lekenik and Perušić/Croatia, Kichevo/Macedonia, Ghelinţa and Estelnic/Romania, Kostojevici/Serbia and Dole pri Litiji/Slovenia. At the projects’ end, key stakeholders in all villages signed a letter of commitment to show their willingness to continue the implementation process and realise necessary investments.
Framework Analysis: The project analysed the national/local framework and acquired data on existing infrastructure as well as local energy potentials and demands. The results were used to plan the bioenergy projects and support cooperation between different policy areas, in order to optimise the regulatory framework and better implement EU legislation.
Knowledge transfer: BioVill implemented many activities to train more than 550 key stakeholders on the bioenergy village concept, its commercial opportunities and the elaboration of economic assessments and viable business models. This included: a best practice compilation of 21 bioenergy villages from Austria, Croatia and Germany and 3 study tours for about 90 key stakeholders to selected examples, 10 training measures for about 300 key stakeholders on financing and management of bioenergy villages, 6 seminars on the bioenergy village approach for about 150 stakeholders from 29 follower villages, calculation and assessment tools for bioenergy investments, a guideline on financing options and business models for bioenergy villages, expert support from Germany and Austria to the local bioenergy working groups and dialogue measures with local and national politicians.
Planning and assessment of bioenergy projects: Based on the analysed data and developed tools, BioVill supported local partners to survey existing supply and demand potentials and elaborate appropriate scenarios for bioenergy value chains and technical solutions for a feasible bioenergy infrastructure development. Further, incentives and support opportunities for modern bioenergy installations for individual households were discussed with local authorities.
Stakeholder involvement: Since public participation is a key characteristic of a bioenergy village, info points were established in all villages and 28 information events were organised for about 2,200 citizens and stakeholders, to increase awareness, knowledge and confidence. Local bioenergy working groups have been set up, comprising key stakeholders, to elaborate local bioenergy concepts and strategic bioenergy goals for the villages. Finally, politicians were involved in the project activities to ensure the necessary political commitment.
Initiation of the bioenergy villages: BioVill supported the local stakeholders to elaborate individual business models for each target village. The business plans foresee the step-wise implementation of 6 biomass heating plants and one biomass CHP plant. All target villages actively working on the implementation of the planned investments, e.g. by preparing technical documentations, applying for constructions permits and negotiating financing agreements. Since realisation of the planned investments needs more time, at the end of the BioVill project, key stakeholders in all villages have signed Letters of Commitment to show their willingness to continue the process and realise the investments.
Dissemination and upscaling of results: By establishing pilot examples in the target countries, BioVill aimed to attract a broader interest in the bioenergy village concept. Various activities were implemented to foster dissemination and scaling-up effects, e.g. a website ( was installed to provide news about the project, the target villages and all public reports for download. A video was produced, explaining characteristics and benefits of bioenergy villages, and presented together with the project presentation to a broad audience at international conferences and events. Experts, politi

Final results

At the end of the project, 7 target villages have developed the institutional set-up and management concept for becoming a bioenergy village. The planned investments in modern bioenergy district heating systems will mobilise in the next 2-5 years around 83 GWh heat and 16 GWh electricity per year. More than 110 new jobs will be created and emissions of more than 30.000 t CO2eq per year will be saved, fostering local economic development and decarbonisation of the energy sector in the partner countries. When oil/gas prices have increased again this will trigger annual savings of energy costs for heat consumers. Capacities of more than 550 key stakeholders and decision makers have been increased, which, in the future, will reduce necessary time for planning and implementation processes and lead to an improved implementation of national and EU legislation. Finally, the villages became flagship projects and serve as best practice examples for stakeholder participation and local energy planning in other interested regions.

Website & more info

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