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LIFE ENERBIOSCRUB - Sustainable management of shrubs formations for energy purposes

LIFE13 ENV/ES/000660


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Contact details:

Project Manager: Luis Saúl ESTEBAN PASCUAL
Fax: 34975281051
Email: luis.esteban@ciemat.es



Project description:

Background

The frequency and severity of forest fires in Europe is predicted to increase as climate patterns continue to change. Forest fires can have a significant negative impact, causing great damage to the environment and large volumes of atmospheric pollution, including significant emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Forest fires are estimated to account for around 20% of global GHG emissions, emitting some 8 200 Tg of CO2 and consuming around 5 130 Tg of biomass every year .

In Mediterranean countries, especially Spain, forest fires represent a big environmental and economic problem. According to the Spanish Ministry for Agriculture and the Environment, the average surface area affected for forest fires in the period 2002-2012 was 114 000 ha per year. In 2012, the figure was 210 000 ha. Figures indicate that around two thirds of the area affected by fires was scrubland (containing few trees).

Scrublands have a high potential as a source of bioenergy fuel. On an annual basis, some 3.75 million tonnes of biomass could be harvested sustainably from just 2% of Spain’s scrubland (375 000 ha). This could substitute over 1.5 million tonnes of fossil fuel per year, reducing GHG emissions by 4.6 million tonnes of CO2, as well as having a positive economic impact.


Objectives

The project aims to reduce forest fire risks by removing flammable scrub biomass in a sustainable manner and converting it to solid biofuel. New methods would be developed for harvesting and processing the biofuel. Findings from four pilot sites (in Castilla-Leon and Galicia) will be compared to help identify optimal approaches for reducing forest fire risks. Conclusions will be widely disseminated in order to encourage replication of the good practice techniques.

Specific objectives include:

  • Sustainable harvesting of 2000 tonnes of locally sourced biomass; demonstration of technical and economic feasibility of the supply chain of shrub biomass based on mechanised harvesting methods in four different locations;
  • Determination of quality parameters of shrub biomass (energy-chemical characterisation of 120 samples and production of eight types of standardised quality pellets);
  • Definition of operational patterns for biomass combustion in order to reach the most restrictive emission thresholds currently in force in Europe;
  • Establishment of management guidelines and policy documents for discussion by the main stakeholders; and the creation of a network of projects that have similar goals but focus on different geographical areas.
  • Overall, the project aims to make important contributions to the EU’s 7th Environment Action Programme, the EU 2020 strategy and the Kyoto and Rio agreements.

    Expected results:

  • Saving of more than 3400 tonnes of CO2 (compared to fossil fuel equivalents) and contribution to stable renewable energy generation;
  • A consolidated document on management guidelines and policies that includes recommendations for targeted decision makers; and
  • Dissemination and promotion of the project findings through a broad range of media including press, radio, television, websites, publications, open houses, specific seminars, Layman’s report, etc.


Results


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Environmental issues addressed:

Themes

Energy - Supply
Habitats - Forests
Land-use & Planning - Forest management
Risk management - Natural risks (Flood - Forest fire - Landslide)
Climate change Adaptation - Natural resources and ecosystems
Climate change Mitigation - Renewable energies


Keywords

forest fire‚  emission reduction‚  forestry‚  greenhouse gas‚  forest management‚  biomass energy


Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable


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Beneficiaries:

Coordinator CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIONES ENERGÉTICAS, MEDIOAMBIENTALES Y TECNOLÓGICAS
Type of organisation Research institution
Description CIEMAT is a national research body focuses on sustainable development and socio-economic issues related to energy and the environment.
Partners BIOMASAFOR(BIOMASA FORESTAL, S.L.), Spain GESTAMPBIO(GESTAMP BIOMASS S.L.), Spain AYTOFABERO(AYUNTAMIENTO DE FABERO), Spain INIA(INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACIÓN Y TECNOLOGÍA AGRARIA Y ALIMENTARIA), Spain TRAGSA(EMPRESA DE TRANSFORMACIÓN AGRARIA, S.A. (TRAGSA)), Spain MLN(MONTES DE LAS NAVAS SA), Spain AGRESTA(AGRESTA S.Coop.), Spain AVEBIOM(ASOCIACIÓN ESPAÑOLA DE VALORIZACIÓN ENERGÉTICA DE LA BIOMASA), Spain

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Project reference LIFE13 ENV/ES/000660
Duration 01-JUN-2014 to 31-DEC -2017
Total budget 1,889,758.00 €
EU contribution 939,279.00 €
Project location Galicia(España),Madrid(España),Castilla-León(España)

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Project web site Project's website

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Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version