Project Description

An estimation of the energy potental of agro-industrial residues in Spain

Gómez, A.; Zubizarreta, J.; Rodrigues, M.; Dopazo, C.; Fueyo, N.

Resources Conservation and Recycling. 2010


In this paper, we assess the potential for the generation of electricity in Spain from agro-industrial residues. The industries considered are olive-oil mills, rice mills, wineries, dairy plants, breweries and wood, meat and nut processing plants. The methodology used is based on statistical data, and is integrated into a Geographical Information System (GIS) from which geo-referenced results are obtained. The waste-to-electricity technologies analyzed are: grate firing followed by steam turbine, co-firing in coal power plants and anaerobic digestion plus internal combustion engine. The combined potential for the agro-industrial residues in Spain is estimated at 2625 ktoe/year of primary energy (1.85% of the primary-energy consumption in Spain in 2008). Olive mill and wood processing residues have the largest energy potentials. Comparisons are presented with (partial) results from other studies. Considering only profitable plants, grate-firing followed by steam-turbine cycle is the conversion option with the largest potential, totaling 653 MWe and an electrical generation of 4.57 TWh (1.44% of the gross electrical generation in Spain in 2008). A complete sensitivity analysis is done to investigate the influence of the different economic parameters. A reduction by 50% of the investment costs of grate firing would increase profitable power to 1102 MWe (and production to 7.70 TWh).