#11 Innovative Business Case: Fiusis (IT)

  • Circular economic business model that turns agricultural waste into a source of energy
  • Environmental awareness raised in rural communities
  • New job opportunities in an area with the highest unemployment rates in Europe

The story of the Italian company Fiusis is an inspiring example for many rural areas. They created the only micro-cogeneration plant (1 Megawatt electric) in the world producing “clean” heat and electricity from a single type of agricultural residue.

The manager has always had an interest in renewable energies and studied how bioenergy plants in Central and Northern Europe produce power from forest residues. His Region, Apulia, is well-known for the abundance of olive tree plantations and he thought there was definitely some potential in there. So in 2010 he succeeded in opening his plant with a technology made in Italy.

Olive tree prunings in that area are usually burnt to get disposed of, provoking polluting fumes and risking fire outbreak. Instead, Fiusis collects them at no cost from the farmers, considered key partners of the project.

The company applies the principle of ‘circularity’ in a clever way and with an extremely short supply chain, by transforming waste available within a radius of 20 km into a valuable source of energy that sustains the entire municipality of Calimera. The plant lives up to strict environmental standards. Its emissions are quite low thanks to the energy source used and the further application of special filters, and they are constantly monitored.

Interestingly, the company is located in the South of Italy, an area that suffers from one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe. With their activity, Fiusis employs 20 skilled people and supports even more jobs in the area. Their future steps? Kicking off the production of biofertilisers from the ashes of the process and of wood pellets by recovering the exceeding heat from the cogeneration.

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