Is using biomass to generate heat part of the solution to prevent fires in Catalonia?

forest biomass fires
Biomass continues to accumulate in the forests, in the absence of new measures by the administration

"Everything that burns in a boiler, stops burning in the forest". This is how forceful Francesc Cano is, deputy director of transfer at the Center for Forestry Science and Technology of Catalonia (CTFC). Cano refers to forest biomass that is extracted from forests to be used for energy purposes. A biomass to which more and more industries are switching due to the high price of gas.

But nevertheless, "of the three million cubic meters of forest matter generated each year in Catalonia, only one million is used, which means that year after year we accumulate two million forest materials”, warns the CTFC expert. "Of the million cubic meters that are extracted annually, about 250.000 are firewood, about 200.000 end up transformed into pallets and the remaining 550.000 are used as biomass, especially in the form of chips and, to a lesser extent, in the form of pellets," he says. Francis Cano.

"More involvement on the part of the administrations to promote a key sector, especially with summers marked by forest fires" is one of the demands of Jordi Serra, president of the Bioenergy Cluster of Catalonia. The next summers are not going to be better. The United Nations forecasts a 30% increase in forest fires by 2050 and 50% by the end of the century.

The fact is that while the main sawmills in Catalonia began, last April, a series of stoppages in production to protest the lack of forestry raw material with which to work. A global energy crisis with fossil fuels. Biomass continues to accumulate in the forests, in the absence of new measures by the administration, and the risk of forest fires increases, with an estimated cost of putting them out at around 10.000 euros per hectare according to the calculations of the EAE Business professor School May Lopez.

The Bioenergy Cluster of Catalonia participates in @Expobiomasa