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LIFE & Renewable Energies The EU LIFE Programme Since 1992, LIFE has contributed to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation by co-financing pilot or demonstration projects with European added value. In the Energy field, LIFE has been continuously supporting innovative projects that upgrade energy technologies and processes - both in the public and private sectors - all over the EU.

Photo: LIFE06 ENV/D/000485 - Mario MANTHEY

Renewable energies


Project number: LIFE06 ENV/D/000485 Title: Moveable HEPP - Demonstration Plant in the Kinzig River: Moveable Hydroelectric Power Plant for Ecological River Improvements and Fish Migration Reestablishment Beneficiary: Elektrizitatswerk Mittelbaden Wasserkraft GmbH & Co. KG Contact: Georg Schmid Email: Website:

This project developed a hydroelectric power plant that works without hindering the natural ecosystem functions of river habitats. The technology operates with moveable components that are able to work at different heights and allow fish to swim freely - even through the turbine, since it operates at a low rotation speed. Results from pilot plants constructed on existing weirs in Gengenbach and Offenburg (Germany) showed savings of 16% in comparison with a conventional hydropower plant, plus 11% higher returns (electricity sales) as a result of better efficiency. The project beneficiary, E-werk Mittelbaden Wasserkraft calculates that its technology could increase the ratio of ‘raw profit per investment sum’ by more than 40% (from 5.18% to 7.36%). The system’s economic advantages are attributed to high efficiency, the lack of a frequency converter, combining the turbine and generator on a single shaft, and the use of a permanent magnet for the stator, thereby saving power for electric magnetisation. It also avoids costs involved in compensatory measures for managing flood risks or the transfer of river bed matter.



Photo: LIFE06 ENV/S/000517


Project number: LIFE06 ENV/S/000517 Title: BIOAGRO - Innovative method for reduction of emissions of green house gases and waste from the agriculture sector Beneficiary: Skånefrö AB Contact: Sven-Olof Bernhoff Email: Website:;

This project conceived an innovative method of producing high-quality pelletised fuel from grain, grain waste, seeds and grass. The project comprised three stages: developing and producing different pellet mixtures (Bioagropellets) with efficient combustion performances and low sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions rates; the design of an integrated furnace system that avoids ash melting and adapts easily to different pellets recipes; and the coupling of the burning system with drying and heating systems, enabling the use of the heat from the furnaces in drying operations and heating buildings. The project also produced the following environmental benefits: • 100% reduction of waste from an agricultural seed production company, which consequently led to a 100% reduction of methane emissions by the decaying agricultural residues. • The ashes produced were also reused as fertiliser in the form of biochar, thus helping to sequester CO2. • A closed-loop energy system that provides a 100% fossil fuel free heating of buildings and seed drying activities. If fully implemented, the method could reduce the discharge of greenhouse gases (GHG) in Sweden by 10% and in the EU by 2.5%.


Photo: LIFE06 ENV/IT/000266


Project number: LIFE06 ENV/IT/000266 Title: Seq-Cure - Integrated systems to enhance sequestration of carbon, producing energy crops by using organic residues Beneficiary: Centro Ricerche Produzioni Animali - CRPA S.p.A. Contact: Marco Ligabue Email: Website:

The SEQ-CURE initiative demonstrated a system to use organic residues, such as manure and digestate, in the agricultural production of plant biomass as a source of renewable energy. The project set up demonstration energy farms in Emilia-Romagna to analyse the respective potential of the biogas, wood fibre and raw vegetable oil chains for energy production. It assessed three biogas crops: triticale, maize and sorghum; poplar and hemp for the wood/fibre chain; and rapeseed for the raw vegetable oil chain. This integrated initiative consisted of the following actions: • development of demonstration bioenergy farms that cultivate energy crops with organic residues; • management of biomass and conversion in energy; • use of ashes as fertiliser; • development of a method for the calculation of GHG emissions and carbon sequestration derived from farming practices. The project showed very good results, especially in the biogas energy production. This resulted in an increase of 160% in the average yearly income of the farmers producing energy from their own biomass and 65% for those farmers purchasing biomass.

This project demonstrated an integrated system that couples sewage treatment and reuse of sludge for power generation, all within the premises of a wastewater treatment plant. Photo: LIFE06 ENV/D/000460

Renewable energies


Project number: LIFE06 ENV/D/000460 Title: SLUDGE2ENERGY - Waste prevention through sewage sludge reuse for efficient energy generation at waste water treatment sites Beneficiary: Huber SE Contact: Robert Freygang Email: Website:

In summary, the process consists of a decentralised combination of sewage sludge drying followed by incineration and power generation using a gas turbine. One of the main added values of the project is that the water treatment, the sludge drying and the power generation can be done directly at the point of origin, thus avoiding transport costs and associated emissions. The solution proposed by the project is both technically feasible and economically viable. The beneficiary’s construction of a full-scale pilot plant in Straubling (Bavaria) has demonstrated that the concept is suitable for wastewater treatment plants throughout Europe with a size of greater than 150 000 PE (population equivalent). In Germany, for instance, this would mean a theoretical potential of some 170 plants. The plant is designed for an annual processing capacity of up to 3 000 tonnes of dry substance and a maximum electric capacity of 100 kWe.

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Factsheet renewable energies web  
Factsheet renewable energies web