Biomass costs would be lower than those of most fossil energy sources in most countries of the world. A recent IRENA report reveals how technologies are reaching grid parity.
The cost-competitiveness of renewable power generation technologies has reached historic levels. Biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind can all now provide electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation.
LCOEs (levelised cost of electricity) of the more mature renewable power generation technologies – biomass for power, geothermal and hydropower – have been broadly stable since 2010. However, where untapped, economic resources remain, these mature technologies can provide some of the cheapest electricity of any source.
Regional, weighted average costs of electricity from biomass for power, geothermal, hydropower and onshore wind are all now in the range, or even span a lower range, than estimated fossil fuel-fired electricity generation costs. Because of striking LCOE reductions, solar PV costs also increasingly fall within that range.
In the Dutch province of Limburg, Letters of Intent were signed between a number of SMEs that collaborate with each other in terms of the raw materials they use and the waste products they produce. The signing of the cooperation agreements took place in the presence of our team member Marco Siemerink, commissioner Bert Kersten (Sustainability and Energy), chairman Jan Zuidam of the Limburg Employers Association (LWV) and sector manager sustainability and society Bart Tonnaer of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl).
The collaboration between the companies takes place in the context of the SILVER project, using a methodology that aims to accelerate innovation in the industry. SILVER stands for: Symbiosis in Limburg and Accelerating Realization. The process is in principle very simple: companies from all sectors are brought together in informal workshops with the aim of sharing as much information as possible about raw materials, waste, energy, services, knowledge and other innovative ideas. This provides new forms of cooperation between businesses and institutions.
The basic idea is simple: to use raw materials and waste products that you produce as a company as smart and responsible as possible (and working together on this issue with other entrepreneurs). This will not only contribute to a sustainable future, but you can also increase your profits. According Bert Kersten, innovation is the foundation for growth. Over the past year and a half, the SILVER partnerships already yielded some 5 million in savings.
SILVER is a partnership between the Province of Limburg, LWV and RVO.nl. The project started in 2013 launched. Since then, some 70 companies have signed up. A recent workshop floor was good for a whopping 298 matches. Team members of www.biobased-business.eu are helping the participants to find solutions for the many obstacles they encounter.
Source: www.zuidonline.nl; Maarten van Laarhoven
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EU and industry leaders have today launched a new European Joint Undertaking on Bio-based Industries (BBI). The aim is to trigger investments and create a competitive market for bio-based products and materials sourced locally and “Made in Europe”, tackling some of Europe’s biggest societal challenges.
€3.7 billion will be injected into the European economy between 2014 and 2024 – €975 million from the European Commission and €2.7 billion from the Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) – to develop an emerging bioeconomy sector. Through financing of research and innovation projects, the BBI will create new and novel partnerships across sectors, such as agriculture, agro-food, technology providers, forestry/pulp and paper, chemicals and energy.
The aim of the BBI is to use Europe’s untapped biomass and wastes as feedstock to make fossil-free and greener everyday products. At the heart of it are advanced biorefineries and innovative technologies that will convert renewable resources into sustainable bio-based chemicals, materials and fuels.
Organised in five value chains – that range from primary production to consumer markets – the BBI will help fill the innovation gap between technology development and commercialisation, sustainably realising the potential of bio-based industries in Europe.
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, said: “The bioeconomy has huge potential that is attracting investments all around the world. With this new partnership, we want to harness innovative technologies to convert Europe’s untapped renewable resources and waste into greener everyday products such as food, feed, chemicals, materials and fuels, all sourced and made in Europe.”
Peder Holk Nielsen, CEO of Novozymes, added on behalf of industry partner, the Bio-based Industries Consortium: “The BBI is an unprecedented public-private commitment because of its focus on bringing bio-based solutions to the market. It is an opportunity to deliver sustainable growth in European regions and to reverse the investment trend currently going to other regions of the world.”
The BBI is a shift from a fossil- and imports-based society to increase Europe’s share of sustainable economic growth, and is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs (80% in rural areas), revitalise industries, diversify farmers’ incomes, and reduce GHG emissions by at least 50% in comparison to fossil-based applications.
The BBI will manage the investments in the form of research and innovation projects that are defined in annual Calls for Proposals and implemented across European regions. In line with Horizon 2020 rules, all stakeholders are invited to submit innovative proposals and demonstrate progress beyond state-of-the-art.
Source: Bio-Based Industries
The plant, which occupies a 165-acre tract of land near Sacul in east Texas, is fueled by non-merchantable wood waste. This is a combination of wood-based biomass fuels consisting primarily of saw mill or other wood mill production waste, forest waste, precommercial thinnings of cultivated trees, and diseased and other non-commercial tree species. There is also the potential for the use of urban wood waste, tree limbs and branches produced by storms and other non-commercial logging-derived biomass, Southern says. (more…)
Between biogas, wind and solar, Anheuser-Busch generates about half of its electricity from renewable energy to make beer at its Fairfield, California plant.
The company is the largest in the US to use nutrients in its wastewater to make biogas, a process called bio-energy recovery systems (BERS).
They also recover the steam that heats boilers in the brew house to produce energy, in addition to retrofitting with more efficient boiler burners, air compressors and lighting systems.