The goal of the Co4 Energy project is to design a scheme for cooperation on small-scale digestion. It is a considered choide to go for a cooperation that supports on local biomass streams that are sustainable and currently not fully valorized – green waste en food waste (restaurants of distribution). There are 2 distinct target regions: the city of Ghent and Meetjesland (region around the city Eeklo).
The cooperation will primarily be open to enterprises, housing projects, and local committees who are willing to cooperate on decentralized production of renewable energies and are willing to minimize their own costs by providing biomass (= organic biological waste), or accepting an output stream (digestate, heat or electricity) and to social economy related organizations who want to undertake the logistics (collection of biomass). This last point is important, among others because the labor costs for collection are an important bottleneck for decentralized bio-energy initiatives. Furthermore, there are also possibilities to open up the cooperation to civilians who want to participate for reasons of financial interests an added social value.
Within the framework of the Co4Energy project, a business plan will be made up for his cooperation. Such enterprise would be a first of its kind organization in Flanders: a cooperative managed biogas installation of which the local cooperators are the stakeholders. The project goes further the mere business plan: the broader result - the blueprint for the cooperation – has to have broader application opportunities and serve for the foundation of other similar initiatives that will hopefully follow in Flanders.