Techno-economic, social and environmental assessment of biomass based district heating in a bioenergy village
Bioenergy villages can be defined as villages, municipalities, settlements or communities, which produce and use most of their energy from local bioenergy and other renewable energy sources. A bioenergy village approach has not been applied in Macedonia yet, and it is at a nascent stage of implementation in other South-Eastern European countries. This work aims to integrate a techno-economic, social and environmental assessment and an implementation strategy into a bioenergy village concept, which is not often seen in works dedicated to bioenergy villages and biomass based heating systems. The assessment was conducted by means of energy audit and project-related tools, whilst the strategy was composed by bioenergy working group meetings. Results show that a biomass based district heating system is a more attractive solution for heating several public buildings instead of a fossil fuelled system, with numerous associated benefits. Such concepts can be replicated with variety of renewables, thus contributing to sustainable development pathways of small communities.