Germany | Bayern

Zurück zur Suche

Internationale Partnersuche

Forschung & Entwicklung Anfrage

H2020 LC-GD-7-1-2020: Seeking partners from European lignite regions in structural transition with expertise in biodiversity/regenerative agriculture as well as partners that act as regional anchors of the project demonstrations

Country of Origin: Germany
Reference Number: RDDE20201103002
Publication Date: 5 November 2020


An H2020 Green Deal Area 7 consortium that consists of a German and a Greek research institution intends to demonstrate recovery and restoring measures of biodiversity and ecosystems as an integral part of the structural transition of European lignite regions. The consortium is looking for partners from BG, CZ, DE, FR, PL & RO, i.a. utility companies that act as regional anchors of the demonstrations, agrivoltaic companies as well as research expertise on biodiversity & regenerative agriculture.


As Europe is phasing out of coal-powered electricity, the recovery of biodiversity and ecosystems in degraded lignite regions is a environmental challenge. Lignite pits per definition have been carbon sinks, however, exploitation reversed this function.

Simultaneously, the fossil fuel from lignite regions has been the basis for energy generation and entire local industries. Restoring degraded terrestrial ecosystem of lignite pits and renewing their function as carbon sinks may thus cause land-use conflicts with local economic opportunities that claim the same space. This H2020 project (LC-GD-7-1-2020: Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem services) aims to overcome this exact problem by demonstrating solutions for how these systems can be restored while at the same time providing socio-economic perspectives for local populations in the regions.

The project regards agriculture photovoltaics (also "agriculture PV" or "agrivoltaics") as the ideal solution to overcome the emerging land-use conflict. Agrivoltaics constitute hybridsystems that allow for the integrated development of both solar photovoltaic power as well as of agriculture in the same spot of land. The installation of such systems in depleted coal and lignite mines can aid in the restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services such as the development of climate-resilient agriculture, while also contributing to the shift of the local energy model from coal and lignite to renewables and the creation of qualified labor, e.g. in the renewable energy and regenerative agriculture sectors. The development and testing of different agrivoltaic systems in different countries with coal mining regions undergoing structural transition will enable the:

a) study of the performance of such systems under different environmental and climate conditions
b) exploration and comparative evaluation of different agricultural products and yield
c) monitoring of the recovery of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the different applications of land restoration and agricultural practices
d) investigation of legal and regulatory barriers of integrating agrivoltaics in the Just Transition plans of various coal mining regions and develop policy solutions to overcome them
e) acceleration in the implementation of such systems through the exchange of good practices between project participants from different scientific fields.

Possible demonstrations within the project could be:
• An “agricultural PV garden" for investigating synergies between agrivoltaics and shadowing in agriculture
• A “coal to agriculture PV garden” situated either at a depleted mine or close to a retired coal power plant, functioning as a testbed for exploring the potential of agrivoltaics to support crop cultivation
• A “coal to biomass PV garden” as a testbed for the development of biomass alternatives in coal mining, which could enhance bioeconomy while simultaneously preventing deforestation
A “bee PV garden” where PVs will be combined with apiculture, appropriate vegetation and animal herding to explore the potential of land underneath photovoltaics to function as pollinator habitats.

The consortium is looking for partners (i.a. research institutes/universities, power utilities, SMEs, community organizations, NGOs) from the abovementioned regions (esp. Poland, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Romania). The consortium is particularly interested in partners - e.g. utility companies or governmental organizations - that can act as regional anchors of the project demonstrations in the respective European regions and coordinate regional activity. Partners with expertise in biodiversity research, ecosystem restoration and regenerative agriculture are sought as well. The consortium is also looking for SMEs experienced in the engineering, procurement and construction of agrivoltaics.

Please hand in EOIs by December 4 at the latest. The deadline of the funding call is January 26 2021.

Stage Of Development

Proposal under development

Stage Of Development Comment

The written proposal is at concept note stage. The consortium already is in talks with possible demonstration sites in Germany and Greece. The consortium also is in talks with a Greek University as a possible project coordinator.

Requested partner

The consortium is looking for additional partners from lignite regions undergoing structural transformation, in particular from Poland, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Czech Republic and Romania:

• Governmental organization, research institute or utility company that acts as the regional anchor the respective lignite regions and coordinate regional activity.

• Energy company that owns land where the demonstration projects can be conducted

• Research institute (university or non-university) or SME that brings in relevant expertise on biodiversity and regenerative agriculture. This partner is supposed to assist with formulating the research approach and conduct the experiments of the demonstration projects.

• SME or farm with expertise in regenerative agriculture

• SME or industry-size solar company with end-to-end engineering-procurement-construction service or utility partner that can conduct the demonstration of the agrivoltaics

• Research institute that analyzes the combination of PV & agriculture & biodiversity as a socio-economic and ecological recovery measure for former lignite regions

• Research institute that creates a regulatory framework model and business model for the demonstration projects as well as future roll out / scale-up of the concepts.

• SME or research institute for communication & dissemination, for the design of an "upscaling roadmap" for systematic transformation, as well as for the development of policy support tools and capacity building tools

• Governmental organization or NGO that assists with the formulation of strategies to enhance the participation of local communities in the project solutions.

• University or SME taking the responsibility of the project management

Dissemination Countries

Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Poland, Romania

Cooperation offer ist closed for requests