Biomass as a source of Spanish energy

forest use

The Old Continent or, specifically those countries that make up the European Union have several drawbacks and one of them is the prevailing need for oil and gas as energy sources.

In order to mitigate such dependence on fossil fuels (which account for 99% of the net imports of the European Union), for some time it is committed to renewable energies, these being, as we already know, cleaner and more respectful of the environment. Said average energy dependence of the European Union-27 (one of the world's least resourceful energy regions) was nothing less than 53,4% ​​throughout 2014. Constant trend that continues to increase every year by giant steps.

La European Biomass Association, abbreviated as AEBIOM, has carried out a study in which it shows that Europe as a whole could self-sufficient for 66 days a year only with renewable energies.

Within these 66 days, 41 could be exclusively self-sufficient thanks to biomass, this means, almost 2 thirds of it.

It is for this reason that Javier Díaz, president of AVEBIOM, that is, the Spanish Association for Energy Recovery, ensures that:

“Bioenergy is the most important renewable energy source in Europe. It is already close to surpassing coal to become the first indigenous energy source ”.

In first position, Sweden

In the case of having only Spain, the figure of 41 days is obviously lower, although the biomass produced could cover the demand of some 28 days, that is, the equivalent of a non-leap month of February.

Our country in the European ranking is ranked number 23, like Belgium.

The Director of AVEBIOM Projects, Jorge Herrero indicates that:

"We are still very far from the countries that lead the table such as Finland or Sweden, with 121 and 132 days, respectively"

However, the role of biomass for the near future of the European Union is crucial to be able to achieve the energy objective set by Brussels for the year 2020.

Bioenergy will contribute to half of that goal and with this the EU will reach 20% of the energy production obtained from renewable energies.

Herrero explains that:

"In 2014, bioenergy accounted for 61% of all renewable energy consumed, which is equivalent to 10% of gross final energy consumption in Europe."

pellets for heating

Moreover, cooling and heating are representing approximately 50% of total energy consumption in the European Union, this means that the bioenergy obtained by biomass is the leader among renewable energies for thermal use with 88% of the use of heating and cooling, assuming in the end, 16% of the European gross energy consumption .

Constant growth of biomass in Spain

In Spain, and despite being in the lower middle part of the ranking table, for some years now it has been carrying out a considerable effort.

The energy increase of biomass is multiplying exponentially and, in less than a decade (between 2008 and 2016) the number of facilities dedicated to biomass has grown from just over 10.000 to over 200.000, with an average of 1.000 MWt (thermal megawatts).

Likewise, this type of energy has great potential for development in our country because forest harvesting can be duplicated without problem, without having to allocate more exclusive hectares to biomass production.

According to AVEBIOM data, Spain has around 30% consumption of the biomass it extracts from cleaning forests While countries such as Austria, Germany or the aforementioned Sweden consume 60% of what is extracted and we recall that Sweden is in the first positions with 132 days of self-consumption and, meanwhile, Austria with 66 days (7th place) and Germany with 38 days ( 17th place).

That said, the biomass sector in Spain moves close to 3.700 million euros a year, representing 0,34% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and which has been steadily increasing for some time.

In the last 15 years, this renewable energy has gone from contribute 3,2% to 6% of primary energy consumed in our country.

In 2015, it generated more than 24.250 direct and indirect jobs, half of them directly related to forest use (in many cases, abandoned forests) and the production of biofuels.

This renewable energy source and its management, Herrero adds, makes it possible to fight effectively against the greenhouse effect and climate change, since it is a neutral activity in CO2 emissions.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *



  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
  2. Purpose of the data: Control SPAM, comment management.
  3. Legitimation: Your consent
  4. Communication of the data: The data will not be communicated to third parties except by legal obligation.
  5. Data storage: Database hosted by Occentus Networks (EU)
  6. Rights: At any time you can limit, recover and delete your information.