International Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V.




Triggering Sustainable Biogas Energy Communities through Social Innovation

The project "Triggering Sustainable Biomass Energy Communities through Social Innovation", abbreviated ISABEL, is sponsored by the Horizon 2020, the Framework program for Research and Innovation on the European Union.

ISABEL´s aim is the implementation of local and regional concepts to produce biogas as a fundamental building block for a low carbon-economy in the EU. As part of this process, the community formation should be animate by all stakeholders, whereby the biogas acceptance should increase.

The development of "Bioenergy Villages" and "Bioenergy Regions" under the concept of "Social Innovation" (SI) should be part of the sustainable use of energy (heat and electricity) and agricultural land. During this approach, communication will be promoted as central key to a public distribution from concepts of these community biogas projects. Stakeholders (energy producer and consumer) will develop and built own regional concepts to be part of the community biogas project.

Farmers don´t grow energy crops e.g. maize, to cover the population’s energy demand. Their primary aim is to achieve a good price for their product.

Biogas producers want biomass which is available in stable quantity all year long with abundant methane yield.

The communities and consumers want to reduce the CO2 emissions to mitigate climate change. However, they don´t want to strain their home budget.

ISABEL will use modern marketing research to understand the needs and the cultural diversity in the community. These data in combination with the concept of "Social Innovation" (SI) will be used to position biogas as an economic bioenergy source.

The use of new platforms (social media) and crowdfunding could reduce the transaction costs. Moreover, the stakeholder’s participation and diversification will be increasing and so it will expand the region´s support.

In the same context ISABEL informs the policymakers about what works and what doesn’t, what should be changed and how the concept extension can be achieved. ISABEL stimulates the replication of these results with showcase regions. Moreover, this project will make further investments more attractive.

The establishment of transparent and well networked "Community Energy" (CE) projects can help to make biogas less vulnerable to political changes and in this way biogas projects can be sustainably implemented.

In short, ISABEL is all about promoting, supporting and developing community biogas in Europe – the project is set on providing all the framework conditions for biogas communities to shape, develop and thrive. There are simply not enough community biogas projects. We work on all angles to pave the way for the transition from traditional supply chains to community ownership fueled and inspired by Social Innovation principles.

Consortium: Q-PLAN (Greece), INSEAD (France), SURREY (UK), GBTF (UK), EBW (Greece), WR (Belgium,), LCF (Germany), FNR (Germany)

Duration: 01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018

Further information can be obtained from the official project website.


FNR contact person: Diego Piedra Garcia




This project is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union for research, technological development and demonstration under Grant Agreement No 691752.





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