Development of a multi-parametrical mathematical model for optimizing energy planning in mountainous areas - AENAOS
2014 to 2015
Scientific Director:

The research project aimed at developing an original methodology, which will determine the optimum energy mix for mountainous settlements through a mathematical model with appropriate objective functions.

The mathematical model (named AENAOS), which was developed by an object oriented programming language optimizes the objective function based on financial, environmental, technical and social criteria. It combines the particular energy identity of mountainous areas with a mix of conventional and renewable energy sources. The town of Metsovo and the surrounding areas were selected as a case study. This area is an ideal case study, since it is located at high altitude, has plentiful renewable energy potential and is characterized by increased energy demand (thermal and electrical). The results of the research project include:

  • An original methodology for optimizing the energy mix, which takes into account the particularities of mountainous areas and their energy loads, all the available renewable energy sources, as well as the economic and social impacts of energy consumption. The methodology utilizes modern, scientific approaches, new technologies and primary surveys.
  • A method for calculating energy loads of mountainous settlements. Special emphasis was attributed to the development of models for mountain residences, which make the calculation of energy demand easier and more accurate, based on statistical data and only a few primary findings.
  • Findings related to the number of households which are exposed to the problem of energy poverty. This was achieved by the conduction of three primary surveys at different spatial scales: one among all Greek households, one among mountainous Municipalities and one in the Municipality of Metsovo. So, for the first time in Greece, the extent of energy poverty has been recorded, as well as its correlation to technical, economic and social parameters.
  • A software for applying the mathematical, multiparametrical model of energy optimization.
Investigation of the possibilities of biomass energy utilization for district heating in the town of Metsovo
Scientific Director:

The objective of the project is the feasibility assessment of a biomass energy unit in the mountainous town of Metsovo. The energy unit will be based on woody biomass combustion (forest products and residues, residues from small wood industries, agricultural residues) and it will produce both electricity and thermal energy. Electrical energy will be sold to the interconnected electricity grid, while thermal energy will be provided to households via a district heating network.

The biomass unit aims at reducing the particularly high costs, needed to cover households’ thermal energy need in Metsovo. At the same time, such an energy unit is friendly to the environment, since it is based on renewable energy sources.

In the broader area of Metsovo the biomass potential is plentiful. More than 28,500 ha of forests are being systematically logged under the supervision of local forest authorities. The annual production of timber is about 12,400 tn. The residues of forests production are estimated to be 2,000 tn, the agricultural residues 800 tn and the residues of wood industries 500 tn. The annual heat demand in the town of Metsovo is 21,200 MWh and the peak power demand is 4.85 MW. It is estimated that 70% of the households’ thermal energy needs can be covered be utilizing 50% of the annually available biomass potential.

The total cost of the investment is estimated to be 13,600,000 euros, including the district heating network and the heat exchangers. The investment can be, under certain prerequisites, be financially viable. The social – cost benefit analysis proves to have positive results, even if the investment is founded, without any subsidy, by the local Municipality.

The research project proves that the utilization of the locally available biomass could be a part of a dynamic development policy for the Municipality of Metsovo. It would reduce the economic burden of the households, as regards thermal energy costs, and it will contribute to the reduction of the environmental footprint of the energy sector in the area.

Technical support to the Municipality of Metsovo for creating a biomass utilization unit
2013 to 2014
Scientific Director:

The objective of the project was investigating the feasibility of a pilot energy unit, based on biogas combustion in the town of Metsovo. The biogas would be produced by organic residues and the energy unit would aim at covering electricity and heating needs of municipal utilities, namely the wastewater treatment unit and the Primary school. In this way, the proposed energy unit contributes to the solution of a major environmental issue (the one of organic pollution) and simultaneously provides with “green” electricity and heat the local Municipality.

The organic residues in Metsovo are produced because of the agricultural and livestock breeding activities in the area. Some smaller quantities of residues are produced be wine and cheese production industries. The biogas potential of the organic residues is estimated to be between 1,216,288 and 2,039,466m3, with energy content from 7,297 to 12,237 MWh.

The pilot unit was designed with lower capacity than the maximum that could be achieved. This choice was made, in order to ensure the seamless operation of the unit and avoid problems because of fluctuations in the residues production. The organic residues, which would be used for biogas production would come from: livestock breeding farms (161,200 m3 from sheep and goats farms, 53,400 m3 from pig farms, 326,000m3 from poultry units), a wine production industry (16,900 m3), a cheese production industry (46,500 m3) and crops (147,000 m3)

The biogas produced by these residues could feed an electro-generator with a capacity of 180 kW. The heat recovery system of the electro-generator could have power of up to 270 kW. The electrical energy produced by the unit would be transferred to the wastewater treatment unit of Metsovo. The heat would be distributed via a district heating network to the primary school of the town.

The necessary budget for creating such a pilot unit is about 1,950,000 €. The social cost - benefit analysis of the investment is positive. For the first time in Greece (for supporting the cost – benefit analysis) a direct method (Contingent Valuation) for evaluating the financial dimension of the organic pollution was applied.

Methodology for Spotting and Evaluating Areas for Integrated Rural Regeneration Interventions
Scientific Director:

E. Panagiotatou.




Taking into account the priorities related to the rural development (especially in mountainous and less-favored areas), through the project, it was tried to cover the following strategic aims of the Region of Epirus:

·         Determination of the characteristics of semi-urban and rural areas in the Region of Epirus, which are suitable for applying integrated actions

·         Description of actions (in the form of integrated plans) which will organize the interventions into multiple and cohesive actions

·         Description of the necessary procedures for planning and setting up of the conditions/ prerequisites for submitting action plans

·         Setting up the specifications, according to which actions plans should be created

The project developed an innovative methodology for spotting and evaluating areas, aiming at composing policies and measures of rural restructuring. Based on a cartographic background and using as a “cell” the unit of municipal district, the project tried to combine the development perspectives of the rural sector with networks of settlements and multifunctional areas. This unified view of the Region of Epirus led to the creation of dynamic networks, at the basis of which actions and measures are planned. All the data were attributed to maps. These maps together with spatial analysis created a “geo-base”, necessary for the completion of the project. A primary survey based on specially designed questionnaires was also a core part of the project.

Development of a system for monitoring and prevention of natural disasters for the adaptation of the Municipality of Metsovo to climate change
2017 to 2019
Scientific Director:

The goal of the project is to develop a system for monitoring and prevention of natural disasters in the Municipality of Metsovo due to climate change and, at the same time, to fill the gap of scientific knowledge that exists in the field of ​​the effects of climate change in mountainous areas. The main objectives of the project are:

  • To assess the effects of climate change on two critical areas for mountainous areas and, in particular, soil erosion and forest fires.
  • To investigate these effects at the local level, in contrast to the majority of studies to date, which relate to regional, national or even larger scale, resulting in the inability to take specific (tailor-cut) measures to address the impact at the local level.
  • The identification of the necessary intervention actions, in the context of feasibility analyzes (cost-effectiveness and/or cost-benefit and/or multi-criteria analysis), which must be taken into account in the long-term development planning of the Greek mountain areas.