A KEY SECTOR- BIOENERGY
Due to the change in the national energy policy, and the consequent recession in the promotion of new projects (mainly electricity with RES), the BIOENERGY is now considered as the energy sector with largest growth potential of the Extremadura Government.
The biomass potential is large, with 70% of surface covered by forest, and 25% covered for farming land, which allows more than 4 Million tons of agro-forest raw materials with potential to be converted into biomass. Currently the 96% of this potential is not used, so 45% of the existing regional demand has to be covered with importations.
As mentioned, the Regional Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialization (RIS3) has 5 excellence areas, two of which are directly related to the BIOECONOMY:
1) EXTREMADURA BIOENERGY PLAN (PBEX)
In the field of bioenergy, Extremadura Government (Junta de Extremadura) is boosting the energy generation (mainly heating) with biomass and biogas as a real alternative for reducing the use of fossil fuels in many sectors (housing, industry, public buildings, etc.). The Government focuses on shifting the region towards a low carbon economy, assuring a more long-term sustainability by not using the former feed-in tariffs.
Junta de Extremadura has launched the Extremadura Bioenergy Plan 2015-2020, included in the Smart Specialization, as a main working axis in the development of the energy sector
PBEX defines 5 working axes: biomass demand; biomass production and supply; research and innovation; public policies; and training.
Deploying 27,5 M euro, the Plan promotes a total investment of 70M€, from domestic heating systems, to district heating, logistic biomass networks, pellet factories, forest machinery, etc.
The environmental impacts are more than 335.000 tCO2/year and more than 1.600 total employments.
Moreover, the society receives other 62M€ on indirect benefits, such as: 55M€ of savings for not importing fossil fuels; 2M€ for environmental benefits; 3 M€ in new employment; 3M€ on fire hazard prevention.
2) AGROTECH PLAN
Agrotech is a 3.000 M euro plan for the application of technology to agriculture. The ultimate goal is to increase our regional Growth Domestic Product (GDP) by becoming a world leader in production of agro-technology; exploiting opportunities to develop and adopt new and existing technologies, products and services to increase productivity and contribute to global food sustainability and international development.