Tags Posts tagged with "biomass"


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Some 500,000 people already work in the bioenergy generation sector in the EU28, 44% of jobs in renewables, positioning biomass as the renewable energy that creates the most employment, according to the 2016 Statistical Report published by the AEBIOM, the European Biomass Association, that will be presented in Madrid on 4 November, as part of the programme of activities organised to mark the arrival in the Spanish capital of the mobile informative exhibition Biomass in your Home, organised by AVEBIOM, the Spanish Biomass Association and IDAE, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving.

The 2016 Statistical Report reveals that Europe possesses the necessary natural resources for the sustainable development of bioenergy. Contrary to popular belief, Europe’s woodlands are growing at a constant pace of 322,800 hectares per year (almost the equivalent to one football pitch every minute).


However, the use of the biomass remains modest compared to the consumption of fossil fuels. While the energy dependence of China and the USA is under 20%, the EU imports 53% of its energy; and Spain, 73%.

According to the president of AEBIOM, Gustav Melin, it is often overlooked that the heating and cooling sector accounts for half of the EU-28’s energy consumption, which is currently dominated by fossil fuels (82%). The installation of new wood pellet stoves as a fuel in the home plus efficient wood chip boilers in schools, hotels and shops, could substantially reduce the level of energy independence of the EU-28.

Almost 7,300 MWt installed in Spain

In Spain, primary energy production from biomass for thermal and electric use was 4,954 ktoe in 2014 (latest official figures available). Currently, Spain has over 160,000 thermal biomass installations in operation, amounting to around 7,275 MWt installed which represents an annual reduction of 3,224,000 tonnes of CO2.

According to the president of AVEBIOM, Javier Díaz González, “with an annual growth of 1,000 MWt installed, by 2020, there would be a reduction of 5.5 million tonnes of CO2, representing a contribution to the national targets for CO2 emissions reduction in the diffuse sectors of 2.5%”.

According to AVEBIOM figures, Spain makes use of 35% of the annual growth in the woodland, while the European average increases that percentage to 61%. “An increase in consumption of 12 million cubic metres a year would mean: 12,000 direct jobs in the forestry sector, the reduction in the purchase of 15 million of barrels of petroleum and the emission of nine million of tonnes of CO2.


Many property owners’ associations have obsolete diesel-fired thermal power generation plants. Such installations are fairly inefficient, generating a high level of contamination with no system in place to share out costs between neighbours. One such property owners’ association, comprising 11 blocks of dwellings situated in Mondragón (Guipúzcoa), will save over €500,000 by replacing diesel with biomass and has commissioned Grupo Aresol to undertake the installation of a district heating network that will supply hot water and heating to every home under the format of an energy services contract.

This property owners’ association of 82 dwellings used to have a diesel-fired boiler room that consumed 93,500 litres per year, and took the decision to go for renewable energy. This shift towards clean energy would also represent a significant economic saving for the property owners’ association. During the first year, it would save 14%, with an estimated 33% saving expected by the end of the energy services contract.

The new thermal installation consists of two Herz brand multifuel boilers. One is a Biomatic 500 model with a nominal capacity of 500 kW and the other is a Firematic 201 model with 201 kW of nominal
capacity. During the season both boilers run simultaneously, but during low consumption periods, only one is in operation. They are equipped with automatic ignition, continuous modulation burners and are equipped to adapt to the energy demand at all times in addition to guaranteeing a high level of efficiency and saving. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2016

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MGT Teesside Ltd, a UK based company, has selected Técnicas Reunidas (TR), in a consortium with Samsung C&T, for the execution of a contract to build a new 299 MWe CHP biomass-fired power plant in Teeside, UK.

The power plant will consist of the installation of one steam generator followed by a steam turbine with a total gross power output of 299 MWe. The main steam generation system is composed of a Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) boiler using wood pellets and chips as main fuel. The scope also includes all necessary balance of plant, including fuel handling and the necessary abatement systems to fulfill latest emission standards.

The total contract value of the power plant will be close to EUR 700 million of which TR’s contract share is approximately 70%. It covers the services for engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and start-up of the power plant, up to commercial operation. The power plant commercial operations are expected to begin in 2020. Notice to proceed was received on 11th August 2016 following contract signature on August 10th. This is the first contract in the UK for TR.

Source: Técnicas Reunidas

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The village of El Atazar located in the mountains of Madrid, with 96 inhabitants, has provided the backdrop for the introduction of the first municipal district heating network powered by biomass in the Autonomous Community of Madrid. The network comprises two biomass boilers, two water tanks for energy accumulation and a primary pumping
system to supply the homes, in addition to control equipment, calorific energy meters and temperature measurement probes. It has taken more than 6 years to turn the first phase of the project into a reality, due to the studies that had to be undertaken, the permits, projects and funding requested by the town hall in question for its implementation.

The biomass-fuelled DHC network in El Atazar was undertaken by means of a public tender process to which various companies from different fields applied. Aplicaciones y Proyectos de Energía Solar S.L. (Aprosol S.L.) was the successful bidder for the execution and installation of the first phase of this innovative project.

This initial phase has included the thermal plant, the first phase of the distribution network and the first phase of connection to the houses. Two municipal buildings currently rented by the town council, the day centre for the elderly, two rural accommodation properties and the houses of the doctor and teacher form part of this initial phase of the network. The planning for subsequent phases includes extending the
network to other municipal buildings such as the medical centre and school.

Iñaki Íñiguez, Aprosol Director
Jorge Monasterio, Technical Dept. Desner Sistemas

Article published in: FuturENERGY March 2016

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Coal and gas-fired electricity generation last year drew less than half the record investment made in solar, wind and other renewables capacity — one of several important firsts for green energy announced in a UN-backed report.

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016, the 10th edition of UNEP’s annual report, launched by the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), says the annual global investment in new renewables capacity, at $266 billion, was more than double the estimated $130 billion invested in coal and gas power stations in 2015.

All investments in renewables, including early-stage technology and R&D as well as spending on new capacity, totalled $286 billion in 2015, some 3% higher than the previous record in 2011. Since 2004, the world has invested $2.3 trillion in renewable energy (unadjusted for inflation). (All figures for renewables in this release include wind, solar, biomass and waste-to-energy, biofuels, geothermal, marine and small hydro, but exclude large hydro-electric projects of more than 50 megawatts).

Just as significantly, developing world investments in renewables topped those of developed nations for the first time in 2015. Helped by further falls in generating costs per megawatt-hour, particularly in solar photovoltaics, renewables excluding large hydro made up 54% of added gigawatt (GW) capacity of all technologies last year. It marks the first time new installed renewables have topped the capacity added from all conventional technologies.

The 134 gigawatts of renewable power added worldwide in 2015 compares to 106GW in 2014 and 87GW in 2013. Were it not for renewables excluding large hydro, annual global CO2 emissions would have been an estimated 1.5 gigatonnes higher in 2015.GTR_infogr-02-baja

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Renewables are becoming ever more central to our low-carbon lifestyles, and the record-setting investments in 2015 are further proof of this trend. Importantly, for the first time in 2015, renewables in investments were higher in developing countries than developed.”

“Access to clean, modern energy is of enormous value for all societies, but especially so in regions where reliable energy can offer profound improvements in quality of life, economic development and environmental sustainability. Continued and increased investment in renewables is not only good for people and planet, but will be a key element in achieving international targets on climate change and sustainable development. ”

“By adopting the Sustainable Development Goals last year, the world pledged to end poverty, promote sustainable development, and to ensure healthier lives and access to affordable, sustainable, clean energy for all. Continued and increased investment in renewables will be a significant part of delivering on that promise.”

Said Michael Liebreich, Chairman of the Advisory Board at BNEF:  “Global investment in renewables capacity hit a new record in 2015, far outpacing that in fossil fuel generating capacity despite falling oil, gas and coal prices. It has broadened out to a wider and wider array of developing countries, helped by sharply reduced costs and by the benefits of local power production over reliance on imported commodities.”inversion-anual-baja

As in previous years, the report shows the 2015 renewable energy market was dominated by solar photovoltaics and wind, which together added 118GW in generating capacity, far above the previous record of 94 GW set in 2014. Wind added 62GW and photovoltaics 56 GW. More modest amounts were provided by biomass and waste-to-power, geothermal, solar thermal and small hydro.

In 2015, more attention was drawn to battery storage as an adjunct to solar and wind projects and to small-scale PV systems.

Energy storage is of significant importance as it is one way of providing fast-responding balancing to the grid, whether to deal with demand spikes or variable renewable power generation from wind and solar. Last year, some 250MW of utility-scale electricity storage (excluding pumped hydro and lead-acid batteries) was installed worldwide, up from 160MW in 2014.

Developing countries on the rise led by China and India

In 2015, for the first time, investments in renewable energy in developing and emerging economy nations ($156 billion, up 19% compared to 2014) surpassed those in developed countries ($130 billion, down 8% from 2014).

Much of these record-breaking developing world investments took place in China (up 17% to $102.9 billion, or 36% of the world total).

Other developing countries showing increased investment included India (up 22% to $10.2 billioGTR_infogr-01-bajan), South Africa (up 329% to $4.5 billion), Mexico (up 105% to $4 billion) and Chile (up 151% to $3.4 billion).

Morocco, Turkey and Uruguay all joined the list of countries investing more than $1 billion. Overall developing country investments last year were 17-times higher than in 2004.

Among developed countries, investment in Europe was down 21%, from $62 billion in 2014 to $48.8 billion in 2015, the continent’s lowest figure for nine years despite record investments in offshore wind projects.

The United States was up 19% to $44.1 billion, and in Japan investment was much the same as the previous year at $36.2 billion.

The shift in investment towards developing countries and away from developed economies may be attributed to several  factors: China’s dash for wind and solar, fast-rising electricity demand in emerging countries, the reduced cost of choosing renewables to meet that demand, sluggish economic growth in the developed world and cutbacks in subsidy support in Europe.

Still a long way to go

That the power generation capacity added by renewables exceeded new capacity added from conventional sources in 2015 shows that structural change is under way.

Renewables, excluding large hydro, still represent a small minority of the world’s total installed power capacity (about onesixth, or 16.2%) but that figure continues to climb (up from 15.2% in 2014). Meanwhile actual electricity generated by those renewables was 10.3% of global generation in 2015 (up from 9.1% in 2014).potencia-mundial-baja

“Despite the ambitious signals from COP 21 in Paris and the growing capacity of new installed renewable energy, there is still a long way to go,” said Prof. Dr. Udo Steffens, President of the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.

“Coal-fired power stations and other conventional power plants have long lifetimes. Without further policy interventions, climate altering emissions of carbon dioxide will increase for at least another decade.”

The recent big fall in coal, oil and gas prices makes conventional electricity generation more attractive, Dr. Steffens added. “However, the commitments made by all nations at the Paris climate summit in December, echoing statements from lastyear’s G7 summit, require a very low- or no-carbon electricity system.”


Photo Copyright: PATRICK PLEUL / AFP Reporters


Planta piloto de 0,8 MWt en Brønderslev, probada en el veranod de 2015. Fuente Aalborg CSP / 0,8 MWt CSP pilot plant in Brønderslev tested in Summer 2015. Source: Aalborg CSP.

Aalborg CSP has been selected to design and deliver a CSP system to be integrated with a biomass-fueled organic rankine cycle (ORC) plant for combined heat and power generation in Denmark. This will be the first large-scale system in the world to demonstrate how CSP with an integrated energy system design can optimize efficiency of ORC even in areas with less sunshine. Aalborg CSP in close collaboration with the Danish district heating plant (Brønderslev Forsyning) has carried out a comprehensive feasibility study on the potential to use concentrated solar power as an add-on to the biomass-ORC plant. Based on the positive findings, Aalborg CSP has been awarded the contract to develop and supply the 16.6 MWt CSP plant enabling production of heat and electricity within one carbon-free system.

The CSP plant will consist of 40 rows of 125 m parabolic trough loops with an aperture area of 26,929 m2. The parabolic troughs will collect the sunrays and reflect them onto a receiver pipe wherein a fluid is heated up to 330 °C. This high temperature is able to drive an electric turbine to produce electricity, but the flexibility of the system also allows production of lower temperatures for district heating purposes. To maximize yield of energy, the waste heat will be utilized and sent to the district heating circuit whereas electrical power will be generated at peak price periods.

Aalborg CSP paves the way for CSP in northern Europe

Despite known to be a technology typically used in sunny desert areas, CSP also has potential in the European climate when integrated with other technologies. Markets with well established district heating infrastructure or an existing base of ORC plants – such as Germany, Austria and Italy – can leverage the flexibility of CSP for CHP. While the prices of different types of fuel fluctuate, concentrated solar energy proves to be a stable and efficient renewable alternative in Europe.

The project in Denmark is yet another example of how the Aalborg CSP Integrated Energy System approach for combining fuel sources and multiple energy streams opens new markets where CSP creates value. Through close cooperation with the client in the feasibility study phase, we can unlock the black-box to create projects in areas where otherwise it would not be possible” – says Svante Bundgaard, CEO of Aalborg CSP.

Danish technology growing in support

The achievement of the world’s first CSP system combined with a biomass-ORC plant is supported by the Danish Government’s EUDP national programme (Energiteknologisk Udviklings- og Demonstrationsprogram). The subsidy provides a substantial support for technology development thereby making the Aalborg CSP solution more competitive in export markets.

The system in Brønderslev is expected to go operational by the end of 2016 and final commercial operational date is expected in the middle of 2017.

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Having received the Final Commissioning Protocol from the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Environment and Energy of the Extremadura Regional Government, Ence’s biomass generation plant in Mérida started to deliver energy to the electrical system in April 2014. With the construction and commissioning of the Sener turnkey project for the biomass plant having been completed,
Ence – the engineering and technology group – set up the company Biomasa Mérida O&M S.L. to provide operation and maintenance works for the facility’s first two years of operation. Following signature of the provisional acceptance of the plant by Ence, Biomasa Mérida O&M S.L. accepted its mission and started work on 15 September 2014.

The Mérida plant is a facility that generates power from biomass, with an installed capacity of 20 MWe and an annual production of 160 GWh. It is equipped with a high efficiency thermodynamic cycle incorporating reheating and regeneration designed by SENER to meet Ence’s specifications.

The facility consists of a biomass processing and treatment area (PTB in its Spanish acronym) plus a boiler area and a power island. The PTB consists of a storage area for stocking 15,000 tonnes of rolls of biomass (logs), with one month of operational autonomy; a crusher that can process 100 tonnes/hour; a system for screening and separating denser pieces; and a biomass chip storage silo to guarantee an uninterrupted supply to the boiler; in addition to all of the conveyor belts that connect to the system. Read more…

Article published in: FuturENERGY January-February 2016

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Even though subsidies are declining in Europe, it will remain the world’s most important market for biomass power plants, with 75 billion € to be invested within the next 10 years. The market in Asia is flagging at a high level and still shows the worldwide largest capacity increases. These are the results of ecoprog’s latest market analysis, “Biomass to Power”.

Today, there are almost 2,900 active biomass power plants (BMPPs) worldwide, with an electrical capacity of around 47 GWe. Additionally, biomass is co-incinerated in coal power plants. This is so far mainly happening in European countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK. However, Japan and South Korea are also steadily increasing the combustion of pellets in coal-fired power stations.

By 2024, the number of BMPPs will increase to 4,250, the overall capacity to 71 GWe. This means that the plants’ total capacities will almost double. The countries with the strongest developments will be the USA, Brazil, China, India, the UK and France.

The most important market stimulus is the granting of subsidies for electricity generation from renewable energy sources, and by now more than 140 countries have introduced such support schemes. The most attractive schemes for electricity generation from solid biomass are established in Europe. In the past years, more and more Asian countries have also introduced such biomass subsidies.

The support schemes in Europe have been established for a long time and are thus very versatile. At present, however, subsidies are declining in many countries, due to high costs and for ecological reasons. The Czech Republic has even stopped subsidisation completely. Germany, which had been a large growth market, reduced and capped financial incentives to an extent that the construction of additional plants has almost come to a standstill.

France and the UK have by contrast newer and quite attractive legislation, which makes them the most dynamic markets in Europe. Planning reliability will also return to Poland in early 2016, when, after many years of delay, a new support scheme based on auctions will be introduced.

The Asian biomass market is not developing as dynamically as expected. Large markets such as China and India show first signs of saturation, e.g. high fuel prices and project withdrawals. Additionally, smaller Asian states such as the Philippines only grant low and limited subsidies. Many market players furthermore state problems with logistics and funding shortfalls as main reasons for the sometimes sluggish development of capacities.

Still, from 2017 onwards, Asia will see a stronger increase of capacities than Europe. This is due to the fact that mostly large-scale projects are realised in Asia, with capacities between 10 and 30 MWe. In Europe, by contrast, small-scale plants of up to 5 MWe benefit the most from the local support schemes, which is why most newly constructed facilities will have such a capacity range.

Furthermore, using the plants’ waste heat is obligatory in many European countries. The plants there are thus equipped with efficient heat use technology and located at industrial sites or district heating grids.

The small plant size, the common design as CHP facilities and high environmental standards in Europe result in average investment costs of 5.6 million € per MWe, which is significantly more than in Asia. The investment costs in Asia, and especially in China, are lower due to standardised plants that generate electricity only.

In monetary terms, Europe will thus remain the most important BMPP market in the next 10 years – even though the development of capacities will decrease considerably when compared to the past 5 years.

Turboden, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), leader in Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbogenerators, for distributed power generation employing renewable sources and waste heat, was selected to supply a 6.5 MW power only unit for the largest ORC biomass power plant in Sheffield, UK.

Kantor Energy Ltd., a specialist district heating design & building engineering, the EPC principal contractor of the project, selected Turboden Srl to supply the clean electricity generation equipment, the 6.5 MW ORC turbogenerator with air condensers.

The project will be built on a brownfield site in Holbrook Industrial Estate, Turboden’s ORC unit will generate more than 6.5 MW of electricity, utilizing around 55,000 tonnes of waste timber wood from demolition sites as carbon neutral fuel.turboden-baja

The Turboden ORC system is expected to cut greenhouse emissions by approximately 12,700 tonnes of CO2e per year, the equivalent of taking 5,700 cars off the road for the life of the project.

The Sheffield facility will also supply renewable heat to the local district heating network, which will warm over 6,700 houses and commercial properties in the area.

Once in operation, the plant will sell electricity to GDF Suez UK under a long-term power off take agreement.

Veolia Energy Services Ltd has been awarded the long-term operation and maintenance contract on behalf of Equitix, whose services involve delivery and managing infrastructure projects from bidding and closing through to construction and service provision.

The achievement of the project has been possible thanks the investment of £30 million from the UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) and Equitix. The investment was made to utilize innovative technologies, create new sources of green energy, cut carbon emissions, and create important local benefits for the communities.Turboden_MHI-logo-baja

The project was promoted by UYE (UK) Ltd, a local private energy development company who owns and operate low carbon, sustainable energy generation and heat networks.

In the past couple of years, Turboden has provided the largest biomass plants ever developed in the world. In addition to the ORC system for Sheffield, Four 6.5 MW ORC units have been supplied to West Fraser, a leading integrated wood products company in the Canadian province of British Columbia, have been operating since the beginning of 2015. Also, the world’s largest biomass-fed ORC unit an 8 MW ORC module has been supplied to Maine Woods Pellet Company in Athens, Maine.

Veolia, in partnership with the leading provider of environmental services, Takeei, has won 20-year operating contracts for two biomass power plants in the Tohoku region in northern Japan.

Fueled by local forestry industries, the two plants will generate 100 GWh of electricity per year for the cities of Hirakawa and Hanamaki – equivalent to the consumption of 22,000 homes. Veolia and Takeei will therefore help to increase the production of renewable energy on the island of Honshu[1], and prevent the emission of 40,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

“Veolia’s expertise and our ability to adapt to Japanese customs has enabled us to win these contracts,” explains Régis Calmels, Senior Executive Vice President Asia for Veolia. “Japan wants to triple the proportion of renewable energy in its energy mix by 2030 consequently opening up excellent prospects for the Group.”

Present in Japan since 2002, Veolia manages water and sanitation in several major cities. In Osaka and Tokyo the Group serves 4 million users; in Hakone, a famous spa town, it manages the complete range of public water services.