Ence’s renewable energy generation plants with biomass valued, in the year 2021 as a whole, more than 1.5 million tons of plant material. With the aim of providing the national system with a firm and manageable renewable source of electricity, the company mobilized plant debris for a total amount of more than 60 million euros, which were distributed mainly in rural areas near the company’s facilities, where the renewable fuel that allows the activity of these facilities is produced and collected.
Ence values, for the generation of renewable energy, biomass of agricultural, forestry and industrial origin. Of all the plant material mobilized, about 45 percent comes from agricultural activity, such as cotton and cereal crops, vegetables, fruit trees, vineyards and olive groves around Ence’s facilities. For its part, forest biomass (cuttings, bark and forest firewood) has accounted for more than 35 percent in the whole of 2021.
Finally, the biomass from the processing industry, such as pomace resulting from the olive oil extraction process, olive pit, grape stem, almond shell, rice husk, cork granules or vegetable sawdust, among others, has contributed around 20 percent of the total biomass managed by Ence last year.
Biomass generation is one of the clearest examples of the development and application of the circular economy, performing a double task: producing clean, renewable and manageable energy, and also recovering plant-based remains, avoiding mismanagement of the same, such as burning or abandonment in natural spaces. Ence’s leadership in the generation of renewable electricity with biomass is based on its successful diversification, which gives it a key competitive advantage.
Furthermore, the essential role of biomass passes through its manageable nature, regardless of meteorological factors such as wind or rain, and through the creation of employment and activity in rural areas. At the same time, it makes it possible to bring energy production closer to consumption centers.
It is a priority for Ence to guarantee the sustainability of the biomass that it values in its facilities. Thus, in 2021 a successful certification process was carried out through the SURE verification scheme, which has allowed the company to be a pioneer in Europe in its adaptation to the most demanding environmental regulations. The company’s biomass power generation plants in the provinces of Huelva, Mérida, Jaén and Ciudad Real, as well as the biofactories of Pontevedra and Navia, have obtained this certification, making Ence the first company in Europe to start the verification of the sustainability of its biomass energy production process using this standard.
The company has begun to deploy an Advisory and Collaboration Plan with all its plant suppliers, with the aim of ensuring that all biomass supplied to the plants acquire this certification. To this end, work is already underway to launch the training, implementation and certification tasks of the entire chain of collaborators.