Background - The Baltic region with its agricultural and forest resources has great potential for implementing EU ojectives for renewable heat, power, and fuel production and use. However, in regions with high bio-energy production capacities, biomass heat and power and liquid fuel production systems already compete with conventional systems for food and material products production for a limited amount of biomass resources. New biomass production schemes necessary for meeting large scale bio-energy production needs often conflict with existing land-use und environmental restrictions, hindering investment in new projects. The accession countries will soon be confronted with these problems as a result of increased demand for biomass export to high use areas and due to expected investment in local bio-energy systems in lieu of fulfilling EU renewable energy directives. Biomass production for bio-energy use in the Baltic area is becoming increasingly a complex spatial planning issue for investors, planning authorities, producers and plant operators. Local authorities and biomass producers throughout the Baltic region and especially in the accession states need to be supplied with optimal biomass planning methods for deciding for the integration of alternative crops in traditional crop production schemes. Planning tools need to be designed considering regional and international bio-energy market chances and barriers as well as the implications of the EU agricultural reforms for alternative crop production.
Main objectives –Based on biomass mapping of biomass potential in selected model regions using innovative spatial planning methods the network improve better exploitation of territorial conditions for bio-energy investment. The case studies will identify suitable biomass product lines for specific regions in accordance with land-use plans, environmental restricitons, market requirements and production costs. The network will work closely with local administrations and biomass producers promoting spatial planning know-how transfer for introducing optimal biomass production methods especially to the accession states, regions on the threshhold of bio-energy development. The network will promote the establishment of fuel standards within the context of the typical bio-fuel mix from agricultural and forest sources processed in the Baltic region. Administrators and producers in regions with high bio-energy production capacity will also profit from improved planning tools for introducing new energy crops and optimizing crop succession and the use of set-aside land. Network partners will heighten awareness of the implications of the EU agricultural reforms for alternative crop production in their own regions with a special emphasis on agricultural, forestry, and spatial planning actors. Stakeholders in model regions will be networked regionally and cross-regionally within the framework of the network
General Activities –
1) Mapping of existing and future biomass resources (forest and agriculture) for industrial and energy applications in selected model regions of the partner countries.
2) Spatial analysis on the basis of regional mapping for developing regional sustainable biomass stratregies for ensuring sustainable investment in processing capactities. In cooperation with regional spatial planning authorities preferred areas for energy crop production, costs of energy vs. food crop production, environmental aspects, land use conflicts, resource conflicts by neighbouring and cross-regional buyers will be evaluated.
3) Networking of regional stakeholders in the meodel regions and across regions within the framework of the network in the form of biomass stakeholder steering groups for promoting biomass mobilisation in the regions.
Financing: EU - Interreg IIIb BSR
Severine Laufer, Prof. Dr. Hans Peter Piorr
Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, FB 2
Friedrich Ebert Str. 28
Tel.: 03334 / 657 114
Fax.: 03334 / 657 125
More informations: www.balticbiomass.com
The project was part-financed by the European Union within the Interreg IIIb BSR programme