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BioenNW represented by EUBIA at EU BC&E 2014

BioenNW at EU BC&E 2014, Germany

1085 attendees from 66 countries, 674 presentations, 11 parallel and challenge events, and over 100 business took part in business matchmakings. These are the impressive figures summarising the 22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition which took place in Hamburg, Germany on 23rd – 26th June 2014. After 4 days immersed in the largest European biomass event, a new common feeling is among the main actors of the European biomass sector: “Bioeconomy is ready for the large scale”. More than one thousand experts, researchers and managers demonstrated that the wait is over for favourable market conditions. Competitiveness and quality of biobased production technologies is getting attractive, both for final market costs and for the sustainability of the processes – even more when the feedstock processed is organic waste.

Now it is the time to focus on how to use biomass in the most efficient and sustainable way, and to develop a stable policy framework to create the conditions for investments to take place in Europe, where technological leadership still resides, instead of letting them go to other countries” said David Chiaramonti, speaking during the closing panel. Supporting this statement, Clemens Hoffmann, Conference General Chairman expressed his wish that future policies will be ambitious enough to look at the opportunities offered by this green transition, rather than focusing on the costs. “System integration - that is integrating bioenergy in the current energy and renewable energy mix – is also a key element to address today,” said Bernd Krautkremer, Fraunhofer IWES. “Biomass could provide 100% of balancing power in Germany, and is the key for the development of the whole renewable energy sector.”

The above statements illustrate how the BioenNW project objectives complements the objectives and beliefs of biomass industrial and scientific community.

Hosted on the EUBIA stand, with two posters, leaflets, brochures and a continuous information service, BioenNW was presented to the visitors of the European Biomass Conference. Hundreds of attendants visited the EUBIA stand to discuss the project’s aims, targets and potential impact in the North West Europe region. Discussions with visitors operating in EU countries out of the NWE region were also very interesting. There was much interest in establishing projects similar to BioenNW in different macro-areas like Mediterranean and East European countries.

In particular, the interest in the mobile pyrolysis units – Pyrofabs – that are being developed by the project, captured the attention of experts and researchers who declared their interest in visiting and testing the prototype.

Prominent researchers participated in discussions on the project at the stand, identifying potential applications of the Pyrofabs, but also to implement the BioenNW targets and results in creating other project opportunities and new cooperation initiatives. Four main concepts have been identified as valuable blocks on which found an efficient sustainable bioeconomy:

  1. Improving the knowledge among citizens and stakeholders regarding the potentials of biomass as valuable feedstock both for energy and high value bioproducts
  2. Developing a more efficient supply chain strategy to reduce the cost of the feedstock and to increase the valorization of agro-forestry residues and wastes. Involving stakeholders and policy makers in order to define their roles, rights and duties
  3. Develop new mobile biomass processing units (pelletizing units, pyrofabs, gasifiers, etc.) able to efficiently valorize residues like digestate, lignocellulosic residues from different plantation and forests
  4. Demonstrate the economic feasibility of efficient supply chain, providing information to investors, stakeholders and provate farmers, explaining that biomass can be a valuable source of income.

The BioenNW initiative demonstrated again its attractiveness as a model for other regions. Stakeholders from all european countries declared their interest in the final mobile pyrofab prototype and in the potential applications of this new biomass valorization technolgy.

Words by Andrea Salimbeni
EUBIA, Belgium