“Ence’s leadership in the generation of renewable electricity with biomass is based on its successful diversification, which gives it a key competitive advantage: the recovery of more and more agricultural plant waste increases availability and reduces its cost.” This was stated by Federico Ruiz, Ence’s Forestry R&D manager, during the technical conference called “Technologies for capture, transport, storage and uses of CO2 in mitigating climate change”, promoted by the Spanish Technological Platform of CO2 and the University of Almería.
Renewable electricity generation from biomass, carbon neutral, is an essential ally to face the climate crisis, taking advantage of the resources that the territory has. In fact, Spain is the second country in Europe in forest area, and the third in the European Union in biomass resources. “In the agricultural sector, the available resources multiply by 2.5 times those in the forestry sector, and with a lower cost of collection,” said Federico Ruiz.
In addition, the essential role of biomass passes through its manageable nature, regardless of meteorological factors such as wind or rain, and because it creates employment and activity in rural areas. At the same time, it reduces the risk of forest fires and the uncontrolled burning of plant residues in agriculture, and makes it possible to bring energy production closer to consumption centers, said Ruiz, who explained that the development of this energy has a long way to go. given the European guidelines on the matter.
As a result of the company’s efforts to obtain the full potential of this wealth and to enhance the vegetable remains of agricultural activity, Ence’s project for Almería was born. “The company plans to build an electric power generation plant with biomass in El Ejido, which values greenhouse plant waste in an efficient and clean way,” said Federico Ruiz.
This new 36MW renewable electric power cogeneration plant will develop a complete recovery and circular economy scheme. Currently there is not enough capacity in the area to adequately treat the plant remains generated by agriculture, around one million tons of biomass in the form of green plants, mainly. The Ence plant will contribute to avoiding the environmental problem that its management entails, while generating 290,000 MWh / year and avoiding the emission of 89,900 tons of CO2.
Furthermore, Federico Ruiz explained that there is the possibility of using CO2 as carbonic fertilization inside greenhouses to increase their productivity. Thus, “low-emission biomass plants represent an opportunity for the direct use of combustion gases, thus reducing the cost of implementing this technology, by presenting the lowest values of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides that any other generation ”.
For the Ence expert, “this solution would represent a clear model of circular economy, where the carbon captured by plants and returned to the atmosphere through combustion would previously contribute to increasing their productivity”.
In the operation of the plant, Ence will also apply its decalogue of the sustainability of biomass as fuel, a voluntary scheme created by the company to guarantee the sustainability of the biomass used in its plants, ensuring the environmental care of the environment in which is generated. This scheme includes ten principles of action developed in 31 indicators, which the company undertakes to comply with in the supply and management of biomass.