The ISABEL project aims to promote and support the development of Biogas Communities in Europe. The current overall context clearly demonstrates that there are very few community biogas initiatives, ISABEL works on all angles to reverse this situation and lead the way for the transition from traditional energy supply chains to community ownership. In doing so, the project deploys a wide range of well-positioned activities that can be conceptualized as being part of a three-phase procedure.
Phase 1 – Understanding: In this phase ISABEL utilizes specific activities that aim (i) at identifying the community energy and social innovation practices across Europe, (ii) map the biogas landscape in the 3 ISABEL targeted regions, and (iii) identify the bioenergy stakeholders’ interests, thoughts and concerns around the core notions and the vision of the biogas community energy projects, while putting emphasis on their societal and environmental dimensions. The goals of this phase will be realized through activities such as interviews and regional consultation workshops.
Phase 2 – Supporting: Here the main ISABEL concern is to re-brand biogas as a public good as well as to foster the development of regional biogas communities and empower them to govern and sustain their own biogas production and consumption systems. Key vectors of this phase will be several regional awareness and engagement events like info-days and meetings, the ISABEL on-line portal, crowdsourcing tools and mobile apps as well as regional co-creation workshops and social hack-days.
Phase 3 – Empowering: In its final phase, the project firstly aims to elicit meaningful conclusions from the application of its concept and approach and its outcomes in the 3 ISABEL regions and then to ensure the sustainability as well as the expansion of its core notions and results to other countries across Europe. To this end, ISABEL will draft and provide to all relevant stakeholders the “ISABEL Recommendations, best practices and replication guide” and will organise 3 final international workshops.