A strategic commitment to biomass is needed to improve standards of living and employment in depopulated areas of Spain

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Biomass will play a vital role in ensuring the manageability of the electric system and achieving the 2030 renewable energy target. According to the President of APPA Biomasa, Jordi Aguiló, this will require “greater ambition on the part of the Public Administration and specific auctions that reflect the real value of this technology”. He was speaking at Biollano, ENCE’s next-gen biomass plant in Puertollano (Ciudad Real), where both FuturEnergy and FuturEnviro were invited to experience the facility at first hand.

Next-generation biomass plants such as the one that played host to the statements of the President of APPA Biomasa, Jordi Aguiló, should play a vital role in the sustainability of our future electric system. As far as Aguiló is concerned, “specific auctions should be held for biomass power stations, given their capacity to provide manageable electricity and robustness to the future renewable electricity mix”. Jordi Aguiló was speaking at a press visit to the next-gen Biollano power station, located in Puertollano, Ciudad Real.

Greater ambition on the part of public authorities

The latest version of the Spanish National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC) has seen a slight reduction in the contribution of this technology to 2030 renewable energy targets. A limit of 6,500 hours has been placed on the remunerated operation of biomass power plants, which is an example of the lack of ambition of the Public Administration with respect to this technology.

“A decisive commitment to biomass is required because it is amongst the technologies with greatest socioeconomic impact on the rural environment. The benefits of biomass go far beyond energy independence or the fight against climate change. Biomass is vital if Ecological Transition is also going to be an Inclusive Transition for the regions”, pointed out Aguiló in his appearance before the press.

Cutting-edge technology for the Transition

The power station we visited, which has an installed capacity of 50 MW, will soon be joined by a twin facility and represents a good example of the new generation of such plants being put into operation in Spain as a result of the 2016 auctions. These power stations provide manageable renewable energy, as well as contributing to the reliability and robustness of the electric system.   

In addition to its contribution to meeting renewable electricity targets, set at 74% by the PNIEC, biomass is vital to meeting the global target for renewables in the energy system. The PNIEC sets a renewable energy target of 42% of the energy mix by 2030, with electricity accounting for less than 25% of the total, meaning that the great energy challenge over the next decade will be the integration of renewables for thermal uses and transport.  

Right now, bioenergy is the only energy source that can contribute to achieving all the targets that have been set. Moreover, it is the energy source that creates most jobs. “Biomass power stations, along with industries associated with thermal uses of bioenergy, represent a real revolution in terms of standard of living and job creation for the municipalities in which they are located”, concludes Jordi Aguiló