Securing the conservation of NATURA grassland habitats with a distributed bioenergy production

The University of Kassel developed a technological and process orientated approach (PROGRASS) to produce bio-energy (electricity and solid fuel) also from mature grasslands.

PROGRASS will combine state of the art technology in a sustainable approach to gain bioenergy from a substrate which could not be used with conventional technology. As demonstration project PROGRASS will be introduced in 3 model regions in protected NATURA habitats to prepare the ground for a large scale European wide transfer.

The PROGRASS approach will be applied in an interdisciplinary approach in a transnational partnership of 4 Research Institutes, a regional Government, the Environmental Ministry of the German State of Hesse, an Industrial Partner and an Education Agency.

In the framework of the LIFE+ project PROGRASS will be demonstrated in extensive grassland in European NATURA habitats not only to prove the feasibility but also to evidence that the approach may become a cornerstone in the protection of these grasslands biotopes in Europe by developing a sustainable solution consisting of nature protection and socio-economic development of disadvantaged, marginal rural regions.

PROGRASS will serve to:

  • Protection of NATURA reserves
  • Securing livelihood for small farmers in retreated areas
  • Saving/Compensating costs for the conservation of grassland biotopes
  • Increasing the acceptance for the compulsory and sustainable management and maintenance of these biotopes
  • European wide creation of awareness and transfer of the approach for the sake of European NATURA habitats