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Analysis of the evolution in current biomass to energy strategies, policy and regulations in Spain

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Pages :
374 - 383

San Miguel G., Servert J. and Canoira L.
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Global warming is one of the most serious challenges facing humankind as it has the potential to
dramatically modify the living conditions of future generations. In order to reduce the emission of
greenhouse gases, most countries are implementing regulations aimed at reducing their
dependence on fossil fuels, promoting energy efficiency practices and favoring the deployment of
low carbon energy technologies, including renewable energy sources. In line with the international
commitments assumed as a member of the European Union (EU) and also as a signatory of the
Kyoto Protocol, Spain developed a National Plan for Renewable Energies (PER 2005-2010) that
forms the basis of the national strategy in this field. Spain has often been cited as an example for the
rapid growth in the use of low carbon energy technologies. However, despite significant progress in
the last decade, Spain is far from meeting the national objectives set in PER primarily due to slow
growth in the demand for biofuels and the limited success of biomass fired power plants. The
evolution in other energy technologies has been faster, situating Spain as world a leader in solar and
wind energy. However, the contribution of these technologies to the national consumption is very
marginal. In the midst of intense regulatory, commercial and R&D activity, this paper analyses the
current situation with respect to the production of renewable energies in Spain, focusing primarily on
the use of biomass resources. The paper offers a general view of policy and regulatory background,
illustrates current progress towards meeting national objectives and provides a brief description of
representative projects and market activity in biofuel production and biomass valorization.

Renewable energies, biomass, energy policy, Spain