How to turn underutilized areas of Europe into valuable lands to produce sustainable bioenergy?
In Europe, there is a series of underutilized land. Contaminated, marginal, fallow lands etc. are fragmented areas quite common throughout the continent, as a result of improper forestry management, excessive mining activities, environmental pollution, or simple mismanagement of arable lands.
Although these abandoned areas are not suitable for conventional, agricultural, or forestry activities, there are several innovative and advanced bioenergy supply/value chains which can handle such underutilized lands in a sustainable way.
The main objective of the FORBIO project is to set examples and provide guidelines to European farmers, foresters, remediation companies and technology providers in order to get them involved and motivated in the development of innovative bioenergy value chains on underutilised and marginal lands.
Funded under the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the EU, this three-year project aims to demonstrate the viability of non-food bioenergy feedstock production in the Member States, neither interfering with the production of food or feed, nor with land, currently used for recreational and conservational purposes. FORBIO will develop a methodology to assess bioenergy production potential on available underutilised lands in Europe at national and local levels.
The project is in its half-time: the agronomic and techno-economic feasibility studies were prepared for Germany, Italy and Ukraine. The report on sustainability assessment of the selected advanced bioenergy value chains in the case study sites are expected by the middle of 2018, along with the roadmap for the removal of the main economic and non-economic barriers that hinder the application of advanced bio-energy practices on underutilized lands.
Based on the outcome of the sustainability assessment report and the roadmap, the capacity building activities of FORBIO will be initiated in 2018. Info days, training events and webinars will be organised by project partners, where representative of biomass supply chain providers, land-owners, farmers, foresters, mine-operators and remediation technology companies will be invited. Selected experts will be presenting hands-on project results to local stakeholders.
The Hungarian FORBIO event will be organised in February 2018 by the project’s co-coordinator Geonardo. More details about the event will be published in the coming months.