Greece offers to ISABEL the chance to apply its concept and approach to a very different biogas context compared to the other two ISABEL regions. The country has never had a significant production of biogas and current growth rates are disappointing with electricity produced from biomass being lower than 1% of the total electricity consumption. The current economic environment has put public budgets under pressure and has actually eliminated any possibility for governmental support of the sector. However, the economic down-turn has also created an increased need for alternative sources of income and/or reduction in the price of basic goods (like electricity and heating). This has resulted in the formation of several bottom-up community initiatives in other sectors (e.g. agriculture, education, transport, etc.) with a view to deal with economic difficulties by building communities and local-based initiatives and partnerships.
ISABEL focuses on the area of Central and Eastern Macedonia & Thrace, which has a population of about 2.5 million and suffers very high unemployment rates. At the same time, economy is significantly based on rural activities. It is worth noticing that more than half of the overall cattle breeding in Greece (the waste of which constitute a basic feedstock for biogas production) is concentrated in this area. All the above mentioned conditions can provide a context that can effectively nurture the ground for the uptake of the ISABEL concept.