The acquisition of biomass by Ence for its renewable energy plants contributes annually 57 million euros to rural areas

The renewable energy plants of Ence – Energía y Celulosa were supplied in 2020 with a total of 1.8 million tons of biomass, renewable fuel, of natural and local origin, which the company uses to provide electricity to the grid. This operation to supply plant remains to the plants involved the distribution of more than 57 million euros, which were distributed entirely around Ence’s plants, in rural areas.

Using residual agricultural and forestry biomass for the generation of renewable energy, Ence contributes to decarbonize the electricity mix, and at the same time offers a sustainable solution to the serious problem of waste management facing the agricultural sector. With this operation, illegal burning and the environmental and public health impacts they generate are avoided, and the circular economy in the agricultural and forestry sector is promoted, in turn creating quality employment throughout its supply chain in the Rural environment.

The distribution of the activity in rural areas is evident when observing that Ence worked during the past year with a total of 220 suppliers, and carried out almost 1,400 direct operations, between forestry and agriculture. In the distribution by sectors, the most important in the supply were the olive grove (734,000 tons), the forestry sector (540,000 tons), fruit trees (190,000 tons), vineyards (56,000 tons), straw remains and cereals (34,000 tons) , and gardening pruning (30,000 tons).

In the case of agricultural biomass, the total value amounts to 20 million euros, an amount that in each case is shared between the farmer himself, the company in charge of harvesting it, and the transporter that takes it to Ence’s facilities. . Added to the 12.4 million euros of by-products from the olive grove, the collection of both types of biomass generates 32.4 million euros for the rural environment. An income contribution that would be lost if the plant remains generated by these agricultural activities were not collected and valued.

A contribution of wealth for the farmer, the self-employed and small associated service and transport companies, which, in turn, entails the creation and maintenance of jobs, and the fight against “Empty Spain”. Ence also has digital tools for the acquisition of biomass, establishing agreements with farmers and cooperatives, generating relationships of trust that make Ence a valuable ally for work in the field.

In addition, and as is the case with wood, Ence considers it essential to ensure that the biomass it uses in its renewable energy plants comes from sustainable sources. The company has developed its own voluntary standard, in the hands of environmental organizations, called “Decalogue for the Sustainability of Biomass as Fuel”. In it, the principles of action of the company in relation to the use of biomass are established, identifying what types of materials and under what conditions they can be used for power generation.

Ence generates renewable electricity in eight independent generation plants: three in Huelva, two in Ciudad Real province, one in Córdoba, one in Mérida and one in Jaén. These are generation plants that feed exclusively on remains of agroforestry origin. To these 253 MW of independent renewable energy generation are also added 112 MW of sustainable and low-emission cogeneration derived from the cellulose production process in the Navia and Pontevedra biofactories, which together used 640,000 tons of biomass mainly of forest origin in 2020 to generate power.