Andalusia leads the European project BIOMASSTEP, co-funded by the European Commission through the Interreg-Poctep program, to develop a methodology enabling companies to evaluate the quality of biomass for energy use between the regions of Algarve and Andalusia.
Courtesy of APPA
Together with the Andalusian Energy Agency, this project is integrated by the University of Córdoba (coordinators), Corporación Tecnológica de Andalucía (CTA); Prodetur (Diputación de Sevilla); the Association of Renewable Energy Companies (APPA Renovables), AREANATejo - Agência Regional de Energia e Ambiente do Alentejo; AREAL - Regional Agência de Energia e Ambiente do Algarve; LNEG - National Laboratório de Energia e Geologia de Portugal and the University of Évora.
The Diputación de Sevilla was chosen for the presentation of BIOMASSTEP, inaugurated by María del Mar Delgado Serrano, delegate of the Rector for International Projection of the University of Córdoba; Antonio Conde Sánchez, vice president of Prodetur, and Jorge Jiménez Luna, managing director of the Andalusian Energy Agency.
For Jiménez Luna, the participation of Andalusia in the project was fundamental, since, "it is a great innovation that a biomass trading company or distributor, and even a large consumer, can have a team that determines, almost immediately, the quality of the biomass being sold or purchased, which, added to the indispensable certification processes, will provide great transparency and safety to the sector."
The immediate determination of the quality of the biomass will be achieved using a tool based on NIRS technology, which is already used successfully in other areas of the agri-food sector. Although the market is moving more towards the use of standardized and certified fuels, not all the biomass marketed has a quality certificate that guarantees the desirable characteristics from an energy point of view such as its humidity, calorific values, content in ashes, etc.
Within the framework of the project, which has a budget of over €600,000, an Interregional Platform for biomass will be created between Andalusia and Portugal which will promote the implementation and transfer of the technology created by the project and the use of quality biomass.
In an energy framework such as that of Andalusia, where sustainability, diversification, decarbonization and a high degree of self-sufficiency prevail, the use of biomass as a fuel for energy generation is fundamental.
Thus, Andalusia occupies the top position in biomass consumption for the generation of thermal energy, with 664,960 equivalent tons of oil (tep) in 2017, which meant a contribution of 8.5 percent of primary energy for thermal uses in Andalusia.
In terms of installed electrical power, the region also leads this sector with a total installed power of 227.98 MW in 16 power plants with biomass and cogeneration with biomass. Likewise, it has 20 biogas plants that contribute 31.53 MW. Of these, 12 are connected to the grid, with a power of 24.88 MW, while the rest (6.65 MW) generate electricity for isolated self-consumption.