BB-CLEAN

Strategic tools towards a sustainable use of biomass for low carbon domestic heating

WPT1

Biomass chain knowledge platform is a main output of workpackage 1 (Knowledge building) and is intended to be information base for the development of all other project activities and an awareness raising tool for public and private stakeholders, which will contribute to better linking between the different actors involved in the biomass chain. More aware public and private stakeholders will be better integrated into strategies development, toolbox & platform implementation during project life and beyond.

More in depth, the platform is a comprehensive repository of knowledge composed by six different documents touching all topics related to the biomass chain: from the biomass production, with a special focus on local availability and main market characteristics in project pilot areas, to the biomass burning carbon emissions in domestic heating, with particular regards to their impact on air quality in Alpine regions.

Among these two extremes the platform includes the others fundamentals links of the chain: a booklet on best available technologies (BAT) in domestic heating powered with wood log, wood chips and pellet, and two in-depth surveys on economical/financials instruments and regulations adopted in different regions and countries around the Alpine Space, all of which can be found below.

The last report "Transnational Economic and Ecological Analysis (with the EEA-Tool) of the Regulations and Financial Instruments in the Context of Biomass Burning in the Alpine Region" also provides instrument called EEA-Tool (economic efficiency analyses tool), a specific instrument conceived by BB-CLEAN in order to evaluate, from the transnational point of view, financial instruments and regulations adopted in BB sector in different Alpine Space regions. In this report, stakeholders, who would like to implemet EEA-Tool in different contexts, will have open access to the scheme and to the process for implementing it as well. 

BIOMASS CHAIN KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM

Carbon emissions from BB domestic heating in the Alps 

The Alpine area is characterized by a climate with cold winters that leads its inhabitants to invest huge resources for domestic heating. In recent years, due to the high price of liquid and gaseous fossil fuels, there has been a progressive return to the use of wood fuel of lower cost and easier to find thanks to the woods available in these regions. As regards the environmental impacts, this activity has an ambivalent effect: if due to climate change the use and consequent production of wooden resources makes it possible to contain and balance the emissions of carbon dioxide that generate Climate Change, due to the air quality this combustion involves the emission of particulate matter containing micro-pollutants that are harmful to the environment and health. This report gives an overview on the actual carbon emissions from biomass burning in domestic heating and their impact on air quality in the Alpine Regions.

D.T1.1.1 - The actual carbon emissions from BB domestic heating in the Alps and their impact on air quality

Boiler characteristics

Among energy technologies, burning wood involves big environmental issues, especially in the Alps Region, where customs, wood availability, energy needs often have to deal with pollution levels, such as PM concentration, and related regional environmental policies. Burning wood with good rates of air emissions is possible.  This booklet on boiler characteristics offers datasheet of each boiler and their efficiency..  

D.T1.2.1 - Booklet on boiler characteristics

Availability of local biomass in selected areas

Wood biomass for energy purposes is a renewable source that could replace the combustion of polluting oil products. Recently, following Kyoto Protocol, the biomass use for energy purposes has been promoted, at European and at national levels, in planning documents and through various economic incentives. This report offers some local biomass supply chain analysis, as collected by project partners and observers for the areas of Chamonix Valley Municipalities, Slovenia and Aosta Valley. The purpose is to benchmark, when possible, the state-of the-art of wood supply chain by a “SWOT” analysis, based on surveys and reports already available when the “BBClean” project has started. These reports show different levels of knowledge and data quantity; at the moment, they have a good analysis level only for the three listed areas. 

D.T1.2.2 - Report on the availability of local biomass in selected areas

Economic and financial tools used in the Alpine Region for domestic heating systems

National and regional governments should support replacement/retrofit programmes to encourage households to replace older appliances with safer, more efficient, cleaner burning technologies. Financial incentives are necessary to assist with the capital costs of replacement or retrofitting appliances. The European Commission has defined a framework – a set of guidelines on State aid for environmental protection and energy in which Member States can design appropriate support schemes for renewable energy. Within this framework Member States can use different kinds of incentives and market tools to support the deployment of biomass sources in the heating market.  The vademecum gives an overview on the economic and financial tools used in the Alpine Regions involved in the project, to support low carbon domestic heating.

D.T1.3.1 - Vademecum on the economic and financial tools used in the Alpine Region for domestic heating systems

Regulations about BB regarding both appliances and fuels

The energy and climate legislative framework of the EU is encouraging the increased use of biomass, that provides a renewable energy source contributing to the decarbonization of heating particularly at domestic level. However, biomass burning has the potential to harm the environment in relation to the release of air pollutants. Solid fuel combustion in households represents about 2.6% of total energy consumption in the EU but contributes more than 46% to total emissions of fine particulate matter. The policy framework of the EU offers several instruments for dealing with emissions of domestic biomass burning, starting from legislation stimulating technological improvement such as the EcoDesign and Energy labelling directives. This report summarizes the regulations on biomass burning in the participating Alpine countries/regions at national and local level.

D.T1.4.1 - Report about the different regulations about BB regarding both appliances and fuels

Transnational Economic and Ecological Analysis (with the EEA-Tool)

“How can we promote the use of cleaner technologies and a sustainable use of chimneys, oven and other private household wood low-technology based heating systems? And how do other countries tackle this challenge?” This question is asked by policy makers throughout the entire Alpine Region. Actually there exists no transnational analysis on the efficiency of regulations and financial support instruments in the context of clean biomass burning. Further on policy makers may ask if there is not a process or approach that could support the systematic development of such regulations and financial instruments. Taking these points into account we defined in our project plan to develop an ecological and economic efficiency analyses tool (EEA-Tool) for this purpose and use the tool to evaluate the most important actually existing regulations and financial instruments in the alpine region related to the topic. In this report, stakeholders, who would like to implement EEA-Tool in different contexts, will have open access to the scheme and to the process for implementing it as well. Starting form this tool it will be possible for policy makers and experts to perform a first evaluation of new or improved measures in biomass burning (BB) sector, thus making possible a better appreciation of the related effects and benefits prior to its implementation.   

D.T1.4.2 - Transnational Economic and Ecological Analysis (with the EEA-Tool) of the Regulations and Financial Instruments in the Context of Biomass Burning in the Alpine Region