Although Italy is the second European biogas producer after Germany, it still has a great potential for biogas production and market expansion, especially in central and southern regions. According to Terna (2014) more than 1650 plants with a total capacity of around 1400 MWel have been installed, but the non-technical barriers, that impede a more widespread diffusion, are still critical.
ISAAC is a project financed by Horizon 2020 Programme, whose main aim is to remove non-technical barriers, such as lack of public acceptance and coordination for the biogas facilities diffusion, normative and legislative inadequacies, in order to support biogas/biomethane market penetration in Italy and make plants implementation easier within the national context.
Actions will be focused on spreading balanced information on the biogas production process and related environmental and economic benefits among the stakeholders potentially involved in the construction of plants. A participatory process model will be developed and implemented in two pilot territories to build a common decision-making process and prevent social conflicts. The analysis of biogas production potential from residual biomass will constitute the starting point for communication and information activities. Awareness campaigns will be conducted in seven Italian regions to promote discussion, information sharing and co-planning among stakeholders. Specific actions will be focused on reducing fragmentation among individual biomass producers (farmers, breeders, etc.) in order to reach the minimum facility dimension needed and maximise economic advantages. A crowdfunding initiative will be proposed to create new opportunities and a sense of ownership and involvement. Proposals for improvements of the current Italian regulations on biomethane and digestate use will be prepared and discussed with the authorities in charge.