Abstract from the report of the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change regarding the current status of biomass to energy projects in Greece.
The following abstract of the annual report of the Greek Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (YPEKA, www.ypeka.gr) for the year 2010, which was published in the Ministry’s official webpage on March 2, 2011, presents the current status as far as the energy production from biomass projects are concerned:
«…By voting the law 3851/2010 (the law for the Promotion of the Renewable Energy Sources), there were introduced substantial changes with relation to the preexisting state in the field of electricity production by using biomass resources.
According to the state published decision for the “intended proportion of installed capacity of Renewable Sources in the countries’ energy mixture and its time distribution” the power limits which represent biomass plants are 200 MW AND 350 MW for the years 2014 and 2020, respectively.
Taking into account the local available biomass potential along with the fact that biomass plants are “base load” power stations which offer guaranteed energy to the grid, thus resulting in system’s stability. Consequently, biomass power plants are desirable by the national grid and electric system administrators and the abovementioned power limits in the energy mixture are considered as quite underestimated. Given the investors increased interest which is estimated to be shown but also due to the possibilities of sustainable development which are offered from biomass (with farmers mobilization to invest in biomass rather than in other technologies e.g. solar energy), it is probable that in the future will be discussed an exception of these investments from the calculations of covering the set limits of 200 and 350 MW.
It is reminded that in contrary to the responsibility for providing the permission of producing electricity from renewable sources, which was transferred to the Greek Regulatory Authority of Energy (RAE, www.rae.gr), the respective permission for CHP power plants is given by the Minister of Environment, after the RAE’s opinion.
The total amount of projects which applied for a permission to produce energy from biomass until the end of 2010 was 124, which equaled to 1.462 MW, while the number of permission which were published was 37 (equal to about 443 MW).
Remuneration of electricity produced from biomass
The significant increase in the feed-in-tariffs of energy produced from biomass and is absorbed by the grid, has already caused the manifestation of interest in investments concerning biomass to energy systems. More specifically, a difference in the feed-in-tariff is assumed depending on the plant capacity and on the biofuel origin (biogas from biomass, landfill biogas, wastewater biogas, biogas from agricultural and agroindustrial waste and residues).
The new remuneration state, which was created after it were taken into account all the mandatory parameters which affect the operational cost of biomass power plants, is making the investments of that kind much more attractive. Those investments couldn’t be implementing under the preexisting feed-in-tariffs which were much lower.
The relevant arrangements of the 3851/2010 law which assume an increase in the fixed feed-in-tariff of about 15% when the investments are implemented without any public subsidy, is in the same whole philosophy of enhancing biomass to energy projects. Apart from the abovementioned facts, the new remuneration acts as a catalyst in the efforts of solving various environmental problems which are related to the organic effluents and by-products safe management.
The energy exploitation of biogas which derives from the anaerobic digestion of combined organic raw materials like silage and livestock waste (manure) is a widely known technology in a large amount of countries while the interest about it in Greece is growing rapidly. The fixed feed-in-tariff of electricity production from biogas plants below 2MW which burn fuel derived from biomass is 120 €/MW, while the one which comes from livestock waste is 220 €/MWh (for plants with installed capacity below 3 MW). The lower price of biomass derived biogas results in the limitation of the whole plant’s fixed feed-in-tariff and thereby it doesn’t favor the development of significant investment plans yet.
Since there has not been any consideration in the 3851/2010 law about the case that the technology used is the one of the combined digestion of different origin substrates (e.g. energy crops and manure), it is essential to introduce a relevant regulatory paragraph in the law, which would take into account all the abovementioned parameters…»
According to the same report, in December 2010 there were listed about 445 biomass to energy projects which had fulfilled the first phase of the licensing procedure (receiving the required permission for producing electricity), about 43 MW with a connection offer from the grid, 22 MW with an installation permission and only 1 MW (actually less than 1 MW) which were in the last phase of licensing, that of signing the contract for selling energy with the electric system administrator. The on grid biomass projects in Greece which operated in 2010 were about 44 MW, presenting an extremely minor increase comparing to 2009 (43,3 MW).
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