The Spanish Bioenergy Association (Avebiom) and the Fundación Circe are participating in the European AgroBioHeat project, which seeks to extend the use of agro-biomass (straw, agricultural prunings, olive pits, almond shells, energy crops, etc.) heating in the European Union.
Avebiom and Circe are addressing the challenge with a view to changing the current model, in which agro-biomass is very underused despite being a resource of great potential. The AgroBioHeat project seeks to promote initiatives in which biomass installers, boiler manufacturers, agro-industries, associations, municipal councils and other institutions can become involved. For this purpose, Avebiom and Circe will identify, accompany and advise companies and entities in the undertaking of two specific projects in Spain.
“Avebiom has the responsibility of identifying initiatives of interest in Spain and trying to ensure that they are successful in order to promote the use of agro-biomass”, points out the association’s project leader, Pablo Rodero. “We will accompany these initiatives until the end of the project and help them to overcome barriers and solve any technical issues or doubts that might emerge”, he added.
Daniel García, a researcher at the Fundación Circe, explains that AgroBioHeat has multiple lines of action. “It is necessary to promote the technologies capable of using agro-biomass with guarantees at trade fairs and other events. We have to put potential developers into contact with facilities that are already up and running and we have to convince the general public that this biomass is as eco-friendly and can be used as safely as forest biomass”, he points out.
Both Rodero and García highlight the fact that the project seeks to address an imminent threat that could limit the use of biomass. They point out that the current Eco-design Regulation, which comes into force in January 2020, imposes very stringent limits on emissions from wood pellet and wood chip boilers of less than 500 kW. And it is expected that a review of the Eco-design Regulation in 2021 will extend these emission limits to other types of biomass.
Avebiom and Circe will undertake a process to select the technologies and facilities to be used for testing and measurement purposes, as well as the new agro-biomass initiatives they wish to promote.