DECISION-MAKING PROCESS AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC DYNAMICS OF AGRICULTURAL ACTORS THE CASE OF A METHANISATION UNIT IN THE NORTH OF FRANCE
Keywords:non-food use of biomass, methanisation, farmers ‘motivations, agricultural dynamics, regional project
Currently, the agricultural sector is facing new challenges. In addition to meeting the population's food needs in sufficient quantity and quality, it must fulfill new energy and environmental functions as well as other non-food uses such as biomaterials and biomolecules. At the regional scale, there is an increase of non-food valorization projects of biomass, including the methanisation plants. In France, the methanisation sector is in full swing with a national target of 1,000 plants by 2020, as defined in the Energy Methanisation Nitrogen Energy plan (EMAA). The development of methanisation sector generates a regional dynamic involving different stakeholders and linking various business sectors. Then the regional methanisation becomes a collective process in which farmers, industrialists, waste managers and local communities are engaged. The objective of this communication consists on understanding the socio-economic conditions in which this kind of regional projects have emerged. For this purpose, the “Centrale de Biométhane du Vermandois”, a regional methanisation plant in the north of France was studied. This analysis contributes to identify the nature of the expectations of the actors engaged, to better understand the governance in place and the decision-making processes surrounding the project. The results show the success factors but also the difficulties of implementation and development of the project. The results also highlight the main motivations of farmers to join the biogas project.