THE GOAL IS SELF-SUFFICIENCY
The goal is self-sufficiency Biomass can cover the country’s energy demand for the last 28 days of the year, up by 0.9 from 2017. Javier Díaz, president of Avebiom, believes that “Spain should have made more progress, but there is a lack of government support”.
Spain celebrated National Bioenergy Day on December 3, which also marked the start of the period in which biomass will cover the country’s energy demand until the end of the year.
Therefore, Spain will rely on biomass for the next 28 days, similar to last year, and as a result, it drops to the 25th spot in the European ranking, now behind Greece and Belgium, according to Bioenergy Europe.
The president of the Spanish Association for Energy Recovery from Biomass (Averbiom) Javier Díaz believes this is a setback, as it represents a progress by just 0.9 days, far from the fourday advance made by other
European nations with similar or less potential. “Spain should have progressed more, but the lack of decisive support from the administrations stalled this progress.”
Diaz called on the Spanish government to “take urgent
measures if it wants to meet the European objectives to reduce dependence on highly polluting fossil fuels that rather tilt our national balance of payments since they are not endogenous resources, as is the case with biomass.”
The European Union set the target of reducing GHG emissions by 80 percent in 2050, compared with 1990 levels, and recently approved an increase of the renewable share in the energy mix to 32 percent.
The Averbiom executive, who has acknowledged the expectations arising from the new government and the future Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, recalled that the reality is that “Spain keeps losing ranks in Europe, when we have great potential in underutilized resources that, if exploited, could help push the National Biomass Energy Day a few days ahead to November 25, much closer to the European average (November 19).”
Spain is utilizing 41 percent of its annual increase in wood supply, a very low percentage compared with the European average (73 percent). “The wood we are accumulating in our forests not only inhibits the sector’s potential growth, but it also creates a high risk of fire every summer.”
In addition to the wood, Díaz said that “Spain is rich in other resources, for instance, agricultural resources (olive tree, fruit tree, and vine shoot pruning) that are practically not utilized for bioenergy purposes, given that they are burned generating emissions non-stop.”
Data extracted from the Biomasud Plus project indicates that Spain could obtain 625,000 tons of petroleum equivalent (TPES)
BIOENERGY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT RENEWABLE SOURCE IN EUROPE, AHEAD OF GAS AND COAL
from olive tree pruning, as well as 290,200 TEPS from vine shoot pruning. In addition, it could have the 516,000 annual TEPS from sustainably managed shrub, according to information extracted from the Enerbiocrub project and data provided by MAPAMA.
The head of Averbiom believes that this data evidences the “fundamental role” played by biomass in the transition towards renewable energy. “Bioenergy is the most important renewable source in Europe, given that it accounts for 63 percent of the total consumed, ahead of gas and coal, becoming the first native energy source.”
In this sense, Diaz has insisted that the government must “promote the role of bioenergy as one of the main engines that enable us to reach the goals of the future Climate Change and Energy Transition Law.”
In the case of energy generation, “it is important to call for new bids, aiming to maintain the power generation base that can be managed using this technology once the coal, combined cycle, and nuclear power plants are progressively shut down.”
The Spanish Association for Energy Recovery from Biomass (Averbiom), formed in 2004, gathers the main players across the entire value chain in the bioenergy sector with the purpose of promoting the development of this industry in Spain. Avebiom currently has 180 associates that have over 11,355 employees and generate a turnover of €2.2 billion.