Big Leap in Biomass Use for Heating in Spain

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The Spanish have gone from consuming 100,000 tonnes of pellets in 2010 to 380,000 tonnes in 2013. And forecasts published by various organisations are saying that by 2020 the 1.1 million tonne mark will have been passed

The Spanish Association for the Energy Valuation of Biomass – AVEBIOM – has used these data and others to analyse how the pellet market is behaving and what evolution there has been in equipment. Now they are releasing their expectations for the Spanish market for the next few years.

Reports by the industry association highlight the growing importance of quality certification for solid biofuels. The fact is that 87% of end users of pellets in Spain prefer 
ENPLUS certified pellets for their installations as it gives a reference for quality.

At the same time, pellet production in Spain is growing in a sustainable way: there are now 30 plants with a production capacity of over 10,000 tonnes per annum and new projects are proliferating. In 2013 Spanish pellet production reached 350,000 tonnes. Supply has adapted to meet this increasing demand and that has led to pellet prices stabilising. Throughout the whole of last year end user prices only rose by 2.8% which contrasts with the price hikes for other energy sources such as gas or oil.

The increase in pellet consumption in Spain corresponds to the major savings made with stove and boiler installations in all types of buildings, including public ones such as schools, residences, municipal facilities, or private ones such as industrial buildings, hotels, housing projects and, above all, individual houses. Data from the Spanish Biomass Boiler Observatory (
ONCB) estimate that there were 80,000 such installations up and running in Spain in 2013, providing an accumulated power of 5,000 MW of thermal energy. Forecasts predict that by 2020 there will be 12,000 MW of thermal energy from operating installations.

Both the current figures and forecasts provide a clear conclusion: it is cheaper to heat using pellets than gas or oil in Spain, and in today’s economic landscape it is vital to optimize resources to meet the strong demand for thermal energy in industry and well-being in households. Biomass offers an energy source that guarantees savings, security and sustainability in supply and, of course, comfort for users.

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