ENERGY BARGE • Danube Transnational Programme


The bioenergy landscape in the Danube region is diverse. The portfolio ranges from centralized biomass processing for transport fuel production and complex supply and value chains, to small-scale combined heat and power plants using regional feedstock. The ENERGY BARGE good practice tool provides indepth insight into a representative selection of these actors. The aim: understanding the characteristics, advantages and challenges these different cases face and presenting lessons learnt from their experiences of establishing a bioenergy business model, value chains and suitable logistics in the Danube region.

Good practice cases - definition & selection criteria

What defines an ENERGY BARGE good practice case? Before the Danube region was screened for corporate examples from the bioenergy sector to study their respective value and supply chains and their current and future options to integrate inland waterway transport and port sites into these chains, this question needed an answer. In the ENERGY BARGE context, a good practice case for value chain integration thus was defined as:

"A corporate or public actor or consortium of actors that works successfully along the bioenergy value chains of power, transport fuels and/or heating while already using the waterway and or port infrastructure in its logistics system. It therefore can serve as a guiding reference for other actors working for cases of similar characteristics who are looking for lessons learnt and success factors."

In order to facilitate the good practice case selection, the following set of selection criteria were defined. They form the basis of all ENERGY BARGE good practice cases:

  • Fit with the definition for ENERGY BARGE good practice cases
  • Effective and successful business model (i.e. active on the bioenergy market / value chain)
  • High relevance of bioenergy and sustainable biomass use in the overall business model
  • Existence of biomass supply chains and respective logistics on regional, domestic, and/or transnational level
  • Current integration of inland waterway transport in the overall logistics; alternatively strategic outlook for future integration
  • Location of processing site in proximity (< 100 km) to an inland port

Success factors - factors influencing central and decentral bioenergy value chains in the Danube region

As a basis for the good practice tool, case studies of the selected corporate examples were conducted. In order to compare the multitude of cases and their respective characteristics, a synthesis report was compiled. This report not only collects all case fact sheets, but compares them based on their size (processed biomass feedstock volumes and radius of supply chains) as small/medium- and decentral, or large-scale, and central cases. It was found that similar success factors apply for each type. Accordingly, similar lessons learnt regarding success factors for a set of criteria could be derived. The criteria covered include: availability of corporate or political strategies, biomass availability and utilisation, bioenergy production and utilisation, integration of supply chains, and utilization of logistics infrastructure such as inland ports as sites and logistics hubs.

Suggest your own good practice case and expand the ENERGY BARGE network

ENERGY BARGE covers the bioenergy landscape along the river Danube. Therefore, all good practice examples are located in this region. The selection made by the consortium however is by no means complete. Moreover, other regions might have characteristics comparable to the Danube region: targets to reach high renewables shares in the overall energy mix, and options to use domestic biomass potentials, and/or import bioenergy products via the waterway. If you are aware of such an exemplifying case and would like to add it to the ENERGY BARGE network, please check whether it fits the criteria listed above and then simply click here to suggest your case!