Energy Cooperative Of Karditsa
Involved Regions: Karditsa
Number of Members: 350
Involved RES Sectors: Biomass
The Energy co-operative is a civic co-operative established in 2010, with 350 members. Initially the idea was that it could help utilise the existing biomass in the area, from forestry and post harvest residues. Different types of biomass have been trialed. They hope to service local markets’ renewable energy needs. The Energy Cooperative Company of Karditsa (ESEK LLC) is the first organized effort at country level for the exploitation of biomass and especially of agro-biomass.
Its foundation contributes both to find and implement practical solutions that can lead to energy self-sufficiency at the local level, and to the restructuring of the primary sector which is in crisis, unable to choose conclusive strategic direction.
The biomass sources which will be exploited by ESEK are:
1) Agro-biomass. There are two categories of it: cultivated (mainly wild artichoke, cardoon) and residual (cotton or corn stalks, straw). Estimated potential at 150.000 – 200.000 ton/year
2) Forest. Also divided into two categories: timber products and by-products (branches). Estimated potential at 50.000 – 100.000 ton/year
3) Urban biomass. It is the product of pruning parks or gardens. Estimated at 1.000 – 2.000 ton/year and it is immediately available.
The innovative – at country level – project undertaken by ESEK has many risks. Because there are many objects that have not been adequately investigated, it was necessary to divide the project into two phases in order to:
- To allow time for arranging and organizing the logistics and supply chain. It will prevent the installation of expensive power production equipment, which, during the first years, will remain inactive for a significant period.
- To organize the processing of biomass in order to classify it into fractions with specific properties
- To explore the possibility of improving the properties of some fractions with different techniques
- To investigate the suitability of the fractions for further exploitation (heat production of low temperatures or the production of electricity, where there is a requirement for higher temperatures). 5)To select more safely optimal power production technologies, depending on the properties of the available biomass.