Green Valleys in English

Green Valleys is a three year EU-financed project with the objective to establish a platform for developing green biorefinary. By building green biorefinary plants in Töreboda, Västra Götaland and in Foulum, Midtjylland, we make the technology available by demonstrating how biorefinary can use perennal grass and legumes to produce regional energy and high value protein for feed.

By a Swedish-Danish research cooperation we will show stake-holders how circular green bioeconomy can use the potential of agriculture. We study the climate and environmental benefits in regionally grown grasslands harvested and processed to sustainable energy and high value feed.

Biomass is an important raw material for renewable energy production. Today, the largest part of bioenergy in the KASK-region comes from forest raw materials, straw and manure. Agriculture contributes only one to two percent of bioenergy production in Sweden. The proportion in Denmark is 34 percent. Agriculture is an important and well-developed sector in the region, with significantly greater potential to contribute to the production of renewable energy. So far, biofuels from agriculture have had difficulty in competing with other and cheaper fuels. In order to achieve better economic viability in production, we need to find new ways to integrate it with food and feed production, for example by making better use of residues. And to be able to do it in a climate-friendly way, we need to find ways to use perennial crops, instead of annual crops.

Within the Green Valleys project, we intend to establish a development platform for green biorefineries in the region. We will develop, test and demonstrate circular models and system solutions for the production of bioenergy where we use biomass from grasslands as raw material. The circular model also provides a sustainable and high-quality protein feed that can be produced regionally and reduces our dependence on soy imports, which is a feed associated with tropical deforestation and requires long fossil-based transport.

The development platform consists of two test and demonstration facilities: A larger plant at Aarhus University’s research center AU Foulum, and a smaller farm-based facility at the Natural Resource School of Sötåsen.

   

Short term result (2022)

  • A physical infrastructure for the development and demonstration of green biorefining in the KASK area has been established.
  • A circular model and system solution for bioenergy production, using biomass from grassland with perennial crops as raw material has been developed and tested.
  • There is an established collaborative structure within the KASK area between researchers, producers of biomass, bioenergy companies and large food and feed companies.
  • There is increased knowledge and interest among the project’s target groups on control system that effectively produce bioenergy.

    

Long term effects (2030)

  • Increased sustainable production of bioenergy, as well as sustainable and high-quality protein feed (which can replace imported soy), from agriculture in the KASK area.
  • New biomaterials based on fiber fractions from agricultural grasslands.
  • Better plant sequences and larger areas of grassland in the KASK area, which increases carbon storage in the soil, improves soil fertility and reduces the need for commercial fertilizers and pesticides.
  • New jobs in rural areas in the KASK area (through increased agricultural profitability).
  • The number of collaborations for the development of new technology, new control instruments and methods to promote increased renewable energy production in the KASK area has increased.

Project organisation and budget

Participating partners are Aarhus University, Agroväst Livsmedel AB, Chalmers Technical University AB, Hushållningsssällskapet Sjuhärad, Skive municipality, Swedish Agricultural University and Västra Götalandsregionens Naturbruksförvaltning. Agroväst is coordinating the project as Lead Partner. The project is mainly financed by regional funding from the European Union Interreg project Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak and Västra Götalandsregionen with a total budget of MEUR4,9.

More information

Contact person is Ulrika Åkesson, project manager Agroväst, ulrika.akesson@agrovast.se