Technology

Biomass as a thermal heating system

When we talk about renewable energies, we have to bear in mind that biomass is one of those renewable resources with a very promising future and potential in our country, due to the great means we have to generate it: agricultural resources, forestry, animal farms, many kilometers of coasts that collect many tons of algae every year … But, despite all this, we still have a long way to go to reach desirable levels of use and to exploit it as we could. Thanks to recent initiatives, biomass is increasingly present in the Iberian Peninsula and has a very promising future. thermal heating system.

What is biomass? principle of operation

Biomass is the renewable energy that takes advantage of everything that nature gives us. A source of quality natural energy that is in everything that surrounds us. According to the IDAE, biomass is the set of organic matter, of plant or animal origin, and the materials that come from their natural or artificial transformation. Consulting the regulations in force, Directive 2009/28 / CE, relating to the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, defines biomass as “the biodegradable fraction of products, wastes and residues of biological origin from agricultural activities (including substances of plant and animal origin), of forestry and related industries, including fishing and aquaculture, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste”.

Depending on the origin of the biomass, there are different types:

  • Agricultural: they are crop residues and agricultural energy crops.
  • Forestry: they are the residues coming from the cleaning of the forests, the remains of clearing pruning, as well as the forest energy crops.
  • Livestock: they are the waste of livestock, such as manure and slurry.
  • Industrial: are organic waste from industry.
  • Food, such as olive oil factories or canneries.
  • Transformation of wood such as furniture factories, as well as the paper industry.
  • Coming from city garbage, which is the organic fraction of urban solid waste.
  • Aqueous: they come from aquatic plants and algae.

Due to its particular characteristics, and due to its different regulatory treatment. Domestic and industrial waste are treated separately in the waste section.

What is happening in Spain with biomass?

In Spain, like many other countries, if not all. There is a certain concern about reversing the current energy system. The dependence we currently have on fossil fuels and the conservation of the environment. In 2006 Bioplat was created, (Spanish Biomass Technological Platform for Bio-economy), a group of excellence and sectoral technical-scientific coordination, made up of all the relevant actors in the biomass sector in Spain, including producers of recoverable organic matter, to researchers and producers of transformation technologies and their applications, and the organizations belonging to aspects of sustainability and regulatory framework. And as we see in the following graph, the evolution of the use of renewable energies has a clear upward trend, although we do not have concrete data on biomass. We understand that it follows a similar path, and thanks to the different organizations and companies that are betting on it in the immediate future. thermal heating system.

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In addition, in 2011, the IDAE generated the Renewable Energy Plan (PER) 2011-2020. In which objectives are established in accordance with Directive 2009/28 / EC, and following what is specified in Royal Decree 661/2007. By which regulates the activity of electric power production under the special regime and the Law 2/2011 of Sustainable Economy. All of them standards and guide documents, to focus the efforts of different organizations, governments, companies, and individuals. In the change towards a more sustainable model in energy generation and consumption. As we see in the following graph taken from the report on the electricity sector in Spain in 2017, renewable energies still have a long way to go, and among them, biomass still has much to grow.

Despite the effort being made by the various institutions and companies. We found that in 2017 there was a decrease in the contribution of renewable energies in the generation of electricity. Which includes thermal biomass. This decrease coincided in the first half of the year. The months of April and May, due to large decreases in hydraulic production. Thermal heating system  Non-renewable electricity generation tripled during the month of May. Despite this temporary circumstance, it is expected that thermal biomass, like other renewables. And especially solar photovoltaic, will experience a great boom in the coming years.

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