DigiBiogasHubs - SeAMK Projects

DigiBiogasHubs - Flexible and scalable biogas business through digitally Connected Biogas Hubs

Project background

Partners: University on Vaasa, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Centria University of Applied Sciences
Duration: 01.12.2023-30.11.2025
Funding: EU – European regional development fund ERDF / ESR+ (2021-2027)
Budget: 659 652 €

Dependence on fossil fuels, the need to decrease the number of CO2 emissions, the large amount of waste and unused material flows, and the necessity to increase the resilience of the energy system and regional energy self-sufficiency and food and supply security challenge actors to develop circular economy solutions and increase the share of renewable energy sources in the energy system. Biogas plays a key role in solving the aforementioned challenges. DigiBiogasHubs project develops a digital platform that facilitates collaboration between different actors of the biogas ecosystem. The project aims to develop and pilot a system-level solution and tools based on a digital platform. The digital platform will promote interaction, the development of biogas hubs (clusters) located in different areas, and the development of the overall biogas market.

The project focuses on the following topics:

  • Development of the platform ecosystem’s cooperation model and platform coordination method, as well as a description of platform services
  • Modelling and describing three divergent biogas hubs in three regions
  • Development of the concept of a digital platform
  • Piloting the digital platform and selected services
  • Clarification of the legal boundary conditions and challenges of the biogas business
  • Effective project communication and implementation of results

Target groups

Primary actors of the biogas ecosystem: owners and producers of inputs/biomass, producers and distributors of biogas, current and potential users of biogas, actors in the logistics industry and technical solution providers operating in the area.
Politicians of the region at the national and municipal level, those responsible for regional development, other stakeholders that affect biogas operations (responsible for legislation, licensees, energy tax planners, biogas interest organizations, fertilizer manufacturers, etc.) and educational institutions.

Workplan of the project

Project is divided to seven working packages (WPs).

WP1: Development of platform ecosystem cooperation model and orchestration method and description of platform services. The work package develops the collaboration and interaction model of the biogas platform ecosystem, identifies and describes services that generate added value for ecosystem members, and develops the operational model of the platform.

WP2: Modeling, description and analysis of biogas hubs. The work package describes and analyzes three different biogas hubs, examines their synergistic effect, and develops a process model for the development of biogas hubs.

WP3: Development of the digital platform concept. The work package develops the concept of a digital platform, which enables interaction within the biogas hub and between biogas hubs, as well as the provision and consumption of related digital services. It serves the various needs of biogas operators. The platform concept is developed from a technical point of view and defines the technical requirements and features required for cooperation, interaction and service provision on the platform.

WP4: Piloting the digital platform and selected services. The work package includes the concrete development work of the platform (software development) and the piloting of the operational level needs that emerged in WP1-3 regarding the services selected based on the research work and companies’ needs. WP1-3 define the functional requirements of the digital platform, i.e. the architecture and the operation/service models on which WP4’s development work, implementation and related piloting are based. WP4 will demonstrate a few selected example services. The piloting aims to highlight the interactions of different user needs in relation to the challenges of supply and demand, defining needs (demand as a driver) and predictability (computational analyses, such as LCA), which are central to the cooperation of sector actors, as well as other user-oriented functional requirements and benefits, such as the effects of logistics optimization on the cost structure and carbon balance. Pilots are presented to potential users of the platform at an event organized for them to get immediate feedback for further development measures.

WP5: Legal boundary conditions and challenges of the biogas business. The work package deals with the legal boundary conditions of the biogas business and produces a policy overview.

WP6: Project communication, dissemination and exploitation. The work package focuses on project communication and dissemination and implementation of results.

WP7: Project management. The work package includes high-quality and efficient project management.

The main results of the project are:

  • Digital platform concept and piloting of the platform and selected services (open code + report)
  • Cooperation and interaction model, platform service descriptions, and platform operational model (report)
  • Analytical descriptions of three biogas hubs with different profiles and synergy analysis between them (reports)
  • Process model for developing biogas hubs and analysis methods toolkit (report)
  • Analysis of legal framework conditions and policy review (reports)

The results are assumed to improve the development and growth of the regional biogas ecosystem (e.g., new actors, increased amount of biogas production and consumption,etc.), reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions and waste, increase the amount of renewable energy in the energy system, and improve regional energy self-sufficiency and food and supply security. In addition, it creates new information for actors about biogas-related opportunities in the region.

Further information

Matti Saari