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18.07.2007 » Pressrelease » Bio Energy
First-ever biomass-cofiring dedicated conference held at Budapest
The 1st Conference of the European Biomass Co-firing Network was held in Budapest from the 2nd to the 4th July.
Over 60 European experts gathered to discuss the prospects for co-firing and future technological advances, including recommendations for future research, defining the research fields and policies that need to be strengthened in order to extend the application of the biomass co-firing technologies in Europe. This has been the first specific event entirely dedicated to biomass co-firing.
"Biomass co-firing is the most cost-effective means of producing energy from biomass as it can be added to an existing coal-fired power plant with only small modifications of the entire system", explains Conference chairman Dr Schories from TTZ Bremerhaven in Germany in his opening speech. Indeed, co-firing is a near term, low-cost option for efficiently and cleanly converting biomass to electricity by adding biomass as a partial substitute fuel in high-efficiency coal boilers. It has been demonstrated, tested, and proved in all boiler types commonly used by electric utilities with little or no loss in total boiler efficiency.
During three days, the conference has enabled the discussion and exchange of experiences among researchers, policy makers and end users on the latest advances, the barriers to overcome in the next years and the role this renewable energy it has to play in the future.
The Conference has been prepared in the framework of NETBIOCOF, (Integrated European Network for Biomass Co-firing), a coordination action funded under the Sixth Framework Program for Research and Development of the European Commission. For two years it has gathered most of the important universities, research institutes and European associations in the field of biomass co-firing. The consortium has studied the current status of biomass co-firing in Europe and proposes measures for the wider implementation of this technology for renewable energy in the years to come. The partners have studied the situation from the technical, legal, economical and social point of view to provide answers to all the relevant groups of actors involved in the decision making process. Moreover, the project has included in its studies not only the EU-15, but also the Central and Eastern European Countries, which present a huge potential for future scientific cooperation and joint trade opportunities. Facing this scenario, NETBIOCOF gathers experts from 19 countries with long experience in every stage in this field: from biomass production, supply and preparation to the different co-firing technologies.
The work in these two years has enabled the establishment of a biomass co-firing research co-ordination network that will promote European co-operation between research organisations devoted to biomass co-firing, promoting the uptake of innovative technologies to expand the use of biomass co-firing in new and existing power plants with emphasis towards the New Member States.
The network plans its 2nd conference in 2008 with a proactive outreach to end-users, such as utilities and potential investors to promote the broader implementation of biomass co-firing.
NETBIOCOF has also a strong component on dissemination of the latest findings in co-firing and information exchange among the partners and the scientific community. The project launched a public on-line database on its web page (www.netbiocof.net) where the reports produced as a result of each task and other relevant information are uploaded and made available to the general public. This database has proven successful; showing a high number of downloads in the documents available so far.