Biomass (c) Heinz Heiss

The project partners will determine technical and economic potentials for the renewable energy sources biomass, hydropower, wind and solar in the Alpine region, while at the same time elaborating rankings of hotspots with respect to ecosystem services, most notably biodiversity and soils. In several pilotCanada goose Parka areas these potentials will be determined on a more detailed scale.

State of affairs

As a first task the project partners will assess the status quo of Alpine renewable energy production, identify scenarios, and define a set of qualitative indicators in order to compare legal frameworks, stakeholders, processes, energy market drivers, as well as avenues of cooperation of different regions. An analysis of trade-offs between renewable energy production and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services will be carried out. In the process, the project team will identify strategies, targets and stakeholders at all policy levels. These tasks are part of work package 4, “Renewable energy potentials and conflicts”.

More information on the tools and models developed by recharge.green is available in the following fact sheets:

Modelling renewably energy production

The project partners will use the results on the state of affairs to design a Decision Support System (DSS) for renewable energy deployment. This system will consider economic and ecological trade-offs. The partners will mainly use the geographically explicit “BeWhere model ”, developed by the project partner IIASA, and the Italian tool “BIOMASFOR” for biomass to optimize size and geographic distribution of bioenergy production plants. Hydro, wind and solar will be integrated into the model as well. Designing the DSS is the main task within work package 5, “Economic dimension of renewable energy.”

More information on the tools and models developed by recharge.green is available in the following fact sheets:

Benefits

To explore economic and ecological trade-offs, the partners will develop and apply a new concept, termed the Marginal Protection Cost Curve. They will use the rankings of e.g. biodiversity hotspots to progressively exclude areas of concern. In an area with a higher level of protection the per unit costs for achieving energy production from renewables will be relatively higher than in a less protected area. This information feeds into the DSS. Decision-makers can use this tool online to aid in forming plans according to their preferences. The DSS tool will be integrated into an already existing map-based survey tool on biodiversity and ecological connectivity, Jecami, which was developed in the now completed Alpine space project ECONNECT. The partners plan to apply the DSS in the pilot areas on a case by case basis, provided that sufficient data are available.