ECO-COMBOS: Bioenergy Consortium in Austrias (ES)


Starting point and idea

In the revision of the Renewable Energy Plan for Spain 2005-2010, the objective to use of 700 MW of the coal power station for co-combustion (mix of coal and biomass combustion) was established. The region of Asturias is rich in coal deposits and has five coal power stations. Furthermore, the Asturias is an important forest area where forest resdiues are not being used by the wood working industries or forestry. The Fundación Asturiana de la Energía (FAEN) considered this as a good opportunity to take advantage of the forest residues in co-combustion with coal, in the coal power plants of the region. Having regard to these circumstances a project was planned to develop a technology for all the process phases, from the collection of biomass in the forest to the combustion in the power plant, with the objective to take advantage of the biomass source that was not used.

Success through cooperation

As the project was meant to cover various activities, it was decided to create a consortium involving enterprises and research centres specializing in forest machinery, energy crops, solid biofuel production and generation of electrical energy. These participants are: Dingoma, Talleres Ramón Castro, ESCAN, Instituto Cerdá, Seresco, Servicio Regional de Investigación y Desarrollo Agroalimentario, ENCE, HUNOSA, Pellets Asturias, Instituto del Carbón, Grupo Hidrocantábrico, Centro de Energías Renovables y FAEN. It involved a total of thirteen parties with the FAEN acting as the coordinator of the consortium. This project was considered of Singular Strategic Nature by the Minister of Science and Innovation from the Government of Spain. Therefore the project was entitled to receive funds from the spanish government. Furthermore, the European Funds for Regional Development (FEDER) supported the project.

How did/does it work?

The collaboration between the parties has permitted them to share funding and knowledge achieving results that could never have been achieved without this association. Achievements Two packing machines have been developed for the collection of forestry waste specially designed for the conditions of the regional forests.

  • A traceability system has been designed that establishes the origin of the biomass
  • Logistic models have been developed to optimize the collection and transportation of the forest residues
  • Solid biomass supplies systems have been adapted to the coal power station boilers
  • The influence of the introduction of solid biofules on the power stations has been analysed
  • Energy crops adapted to the conditions on the climate, orography and soil of the area habe been tested


As well as the co-combustion of biomass and coal to generate electricity, a similar project using biomass (or biomass and coal in co-combustion) to generate heat can be implemented. Through involvement of players from all sectors within the biomass/energy chain (forestry enterprises, solid biofuels producers, boiler manufacturers etc) boilers can be adapted to the characteristics of the local biofuels.


Indalecio González Fernández
Fundación Asturiana de la Energía


  • Project of "singular strategic" value for Spanish government
  • Consortium of 13 enterprises and research institutes
  • Enabling supply chain to use biomass for co-combustion
  • High collaboration and exchange of knowledge

Success Story provided by REGBIE+ partner