Burn green to breathe

In the Alpine Region (AR) there is a need to support a better use of local resources and an increase of energy self-sufficiency while reducing impacts on climate and the environment (EUSALP, AG9). Biomass is a local and affordable RES and its combustion avoids fossil CO2atmospheric emissions.

For these reasons biomass use is strategic in the AR. Nevertheless, Biomass Burning (BB) leads to consistent particulate matter (PM) emissions, often unknown to population and local administrators. Actually, PM has an impact on natural ecosystems, on human health but even on climate change considering Black Carbon concentrations contained in PM emitted from BB. The main project objective is thus the development of transnational policies for a sustainable use of biomass for domestic heating (aligned to the Alpine Space SO2.1) to minimize the above cited impacts and improve a smart use of this resource in the AR. The project will focus on innovative open-source and interactive approaches for the awareness raising of citizens and local administrators about the critical aspects linked to BB and on the definition of strategic technological, economical and regulative tools to reduce the impact of BB in the Alpine valleys. The impact of the application of selected policies (following a participated search for potential solutions even involving citizens) will be evaluated through modelling activities. Innovative sustainable business models will ensure long term success of the defined solutions. The development of shared policy-relevant documents will favour the application of harmonized regulations for a sustainable use of biomass in the AR.

Foreseeing the integrated collaboration of partners from 5 Countries of the AR and a large network of observers the project will drive an important behavioural, technological, environmental and regulative change in this Region but even at EU level since no common regulations at EU level actually exist for small scale biomass appliances.

Project Partners

  • Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
  • ARPA Valle d’Aosta (Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione dell’Ambiente della Valle d’Aosta)
  • Communauté de communes Pays du Mont-Blanc
  • Atmo Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
  • Zavod Energetska agencija za Savinjsko, Šaleško in Koroško
  • e-Zavod
  • FH JOANNEUM Gesellschaft mbH
  • econcept –Agency for Sustainable Design

The main project objective is the development of harmonized low carbon policies related to a sustainable use of biomass for domestic heating production in the Alpine Region. This aim will be reached starting from the state of the art of the very different regulations linked to small scale biomass appliances actually in force in the Countries of the Alpine Region and the development of innovative technological, economical and informative tools that will be used by citizens and policy makers to mitigate the impact of a local widespread energy source (biomass) on air quality, human health and on climate change. The development of tools for a sustainable use of a low carbon technology at transnational level is in compliance with SO2.1.

Econcept is mainly involved in the following workpackages:

WP 2 – Innovative methods to improve engagement and awareness raising in pilot areas

Starting from the knowledge of the contribution of BB to local PM concentrations and climate change (WPT1), this WP is strictly linked to WPT3, WPT4 and WPT5 outputs since citizens and local administrators will be the main drivers of the implementation level of the tools as well as the low carbon policies developed by the project. Therefore their commitment and intense involvement in the development and use of awareness raising is crucial for the project success. Therefore we from Econcept will integrate the platform innonatives as method to improve awareness and engagement.

WP 3 – Smart tools for a sustainable biomass burning

This WP aims at developing smart tools for a sustainable domestic heating production from biomass in the Alpine Region. Starting from the knowledge of BB impact on climate change and air quality (WPT1), awareness raising activities (WPT2) will be strategic for the effective implementation of web and mobile apps to promote smart BB. This WP will be linked to WPT4 and WPT5 since the forecast model developed will be used to evaluate future policy scenarios that will contribute to the WPT5 outputs.

WP 4 – Sustainable, technical and financial solutions for BB

This WP will investigate the best technological solutions for small scale biomass combustion for domestic heating production and the financial tools that can foster a technological change in the Alpine Region (AR). From the state of the art of the actual economic and financial tools related to BB in the AR (WPT1) and from the awareness raising activities (WPT2) that will foster the use of the mobile app (WPT3), WPT4 outputs will help the implementation of the low carbon policies (WT5).

WP 5 – Policy and Harmonization

This WP aims at the development of low carbon policies for the Alpine Region focused on a sustainable use of biomass to mitigate BB impact on climate change and air quality. Starting from the knowledge building (WPT1), awareness raising activities (WPT2) will be strategic for the effective implementation of new harmonized policies. WPT3 and WPT4 results will create the technological, economic and social tools that will support the harmonized policies for the Alpine Region.