Bioenergy Benefits

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 Biomass for Heating

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Of all possible renewable heating options, biomass has a great potential to deliver significant and cost-effective solutions to a concerning heat demand. Biomass heating can be achieved with a wide variety of fuels: wood pellets, wood chips, briquettes, wood logs.

Technologies and Applications

Stoves: used for residential heating.
Boilers: from small scale to multi-MW scale systems used for houses, the tertiary sector, industries and cities. Heat can be used in buildings (through individual applications or district heating) and for industrial processes. Moreover, heat and electricity can be simultaneously produced via CHP (Combined Heat and Power).

Advantages of Using Biomass for Heating

  • Renewable alternative to fossil fuels: allows savings of GHG emissions
  • Attractive operational cost savings for both domestic and industrial applications
  • Reduced fuel price volatility
  • Source of economic development and job creation

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Fueling Power Plants

Dedicated biomass plants are plants specifically designed to use biomass as fuel. They often use low cost fuels such as wood chips and, in some cases, agricultural by-products such as straw. Cofiring offers a possibility to produce large amounts of renewable electricity using existing power facilities: in this case high quality wood fuels such as pellets are used. Pellets are milled to powder and burned together with coal in existing conventional power plants. In some recent cases, cofiring plants have been converted to use 100% biomass. Cofiring or conversion of existing coal fired plants to biomass results in fairly low electricity generation costs.

Technologies and Applications

Electricity can be generated with a wide range of biomass technologies. Biomass can be converted into electricity using processes similar to those used with fossil fuels, such as:

Steam/turbine: direct burning of biomass in a boiler to produce steam. The steam then drives a turbine, which turns a generator to convert the power into electricity.

Gasification: biomass is heated in an environment that enables solids to be converted into a synthesis gas, which can then be burned in conventional boilers or used in turbines to produce electricity.

Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC): this technology is based on a turbogenerator working as a normal steam turbine to transform thermal energy into mechanical energy and finally into electric energy through an electric generator.

These technologies can be used in CHP plants together – where heat and electricity are simultaneously produced – or in power plants only.

The Advantages of Using Biomass for Electricity

  • Renewable alternative to fossil fuels: allows savings of GHG emissions
  • Clean, dispatchable renewable source of power
  • A bridge towards reaching EU climate and energy goals while continuing to develop other efficient energy systems (eg: CHP) and other RES.
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