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Techno-economical assessment of the production and use of biofuels for heating and cooling applications in South Europe (BIO-SOUTH)

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Contrary to the north of Europe and some central European countries, where the use of solid bio-fuels for heating is common, southern European countries make little use of this application and bio-fuel markets are underdeveloped despite important potentials in some regions. The BIO-SOUTH project aims to develop these potentials by transferring technologies, methods and experiences from more advanced countries and by adapting to the local market conditions in Southern Europe. The project partners assess technical and economical aspects of the whole bio-fuel utilisation cycle, from collection to heat production, in the Spanish region of Navarre and the Italian region of Tuscany, both with an important potential for forest bio-fuels. The project will identify key barriers to bio-heat development in these two regions and - taking into account experiences from more advanced regions - define measures to address them and help build up thriving markets.


  • Demonstration of the feasibility of forest biomass logistics and utilisation for heat generation in Navarre and Tuscany
  • To make local actors (governments, municipalities, forest land owners, forest companies, wood industries, associations and other relevant bodies) aware of the possibilities, benefits, technologies, methodologies and economics of the utilisation of forest biomass as fuel
  • Transference of Nordic biomass know-how to Navarre and Tuscany
  • To make citizens aware of the bio-fuel heating potential and benefits in Spain and Italy
  • Dissemination of results to the whole Mediterranean Area of the EU

Lessons learned

  • In Navarre, it can be highlighted that although the forest residue potential is about 480.000 ton/year, only a share of them can be collected in a mechanical way to do the process economically feasible, 100.000 Ton/ha (on a 30% moisture content basis). This corresponds to 1.11% on the primary energy consumption.
  • In Tuscany, the data obtained is that the total forest residues potential biomass reclaimable can covers about the 1.56% of total energy consumption in Tuscany (579.455 Tons of forest residues), that is an important part of the necessary energy.
  • Currently, in the regions under study, due the forest characteristics, the forest biomass harvesting operations could be quite expensive. Therefore, to overcome this barrier, nowadays the Bio-South project it is focus on the development methodology for this kind of forest, in which the forest residue collection has to be optimized. Last updated: 23.06.2010

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01/01/2006 to 28/02/2007
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