Identifying innovative solutions to use renewable sources of energy to and an integrated and efficient management to meet the energy needs of urban waste treatment and disposal plants: this is the objective of REEF 2W, i.e. a recently launched European project with Enea as a lead partner with its 11 research centres and other companies, including the French juggernaut Veolia Water and the Kompetenzzentrum Wasser Berlin, whose capital has shareholding by the water utility company Berliner Wasserbetriebe/Berlinwasser Holding GmbH, which is one of the leading utility companies in Europe, and by the German Technologiestiftung Berlin. Croatia, Austria and the Czech Republic are other partner countries.
The new development of this project also lies in the planned participation and communications modalities. As a matter of fact, besides the technical and economic assessments of the possible solutions that can be adopted to use the organic fraction of urban waste and sewage sludge to produce energy in the treatment platforms, large attention is paid to the assessment of effects in terms of environmental effects and benefits for local communities.
Adequate integrated assessment tools will therefore be developed to identify the most adequate technologies and the most «virtuous» processes depending on the various territorial realities; furthermore, the results obtained will be disseminated among the final decision-makers through training courses and informative meetings organized in the various countries where the multi-utility companies concerned work,and these in turn can make agreements to implement the process in other places.
In particular, REEF 2W will try to develop models enabling to maximize outputs in terms of the renewable energy that can be obtained from the biological fermentation of waste biomass in order to produce energy that can be first and foremost used in the production site, while the energy surplus can be used to feed local distribution grids or in public transport with the final goal to reach the energy and environmental neutrality of the waste water and waste collection and treatment.