Valencia, October 19, 2023 – In October 2023, the Horizon Europe project “ECOLOOP” embarked on its mission to drive renewable energy integration in agriculture and forestry. This groundbreaking initiative, with a budget of €9.1 million allocated over four years, signifies a significant stride toward fostering sustainability and regional development. Coordinated by ETRA, ECOLOOP is set to make a profound impact with a consortium of 14 partners spanning four European countries.
ECOLOOP project, aims to empower farmers and foresters with the tools, knowledge, and business models necessary for efficient land and waste management in agriculture and forestry. The project promotes the decentralized use of renewable energy to reduce carbon footprints and improve soil biodiversity and health. Furthermore, ECOLOOP seeks to foster a circular economy and regional development in rural areas by contributing to job creation, addressing gender equality, and enhancing climate resilience and adaptation.
ECOLOOP is committed to developing and demonstrating innovative solutions for optimizing the combination of various distributed energy sources, including biogas, biomass, agri-PV, and geothermal energy. These solutions are tailored to meet local energy demands for electricity, heating, cooling, transport, waste management, and land use in rural areas, delivering tangible benefits for farmers and foresters alike.
At the core of ECOLOOP‘s mission lies the reduction of the carbon footprint in rural areas. By promoting the use of distributed renewable energy sources and encouraging self-consumption, the project also aims to implement efficient agricultural and forest waste management practices. These endeavors will have a ripple effect, positively impacting biodiversity, soil health, and safeguarding groundwater from contamination.
ECOLOOP‘s accomplishments will undergo rigorous testing and validation through four pilot sites located in Spain, Slovenia, Estonia, and Bulgaria. These demonstrators will encompass a diverse range of crops, plantations, and trees in both agricultural and forestry sectors. They will accommodate different types of energy sources and assets while spanning diverse climatic, geographic, and socio-economic conditions and sizes. The overarching goal is to facilitate replicability, scale-up, and eventual market launch.
On October 18th and 19th, ECOLOOP partners convened for the inaugural Kick-off meeting in Valencia, hosted by ETRA and INDEREN. This gathering provided an invaluable opportunity to delve into the tasks that will shape the next four years and to visit the Spanish pilot site in Picassent (Valencia) at the Energy community Horta Sud.