Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

European energy crops processing and utilization in Europe

It is clear from the project that both liquid and solid biofuels can be made economically feasible only with financial incentives. If the current level of tax exemptions in France and Austria, for biodiesel, would be generally allocated for solid biofuels throughout Europe, most energy crops around Europe would be feasible. Monetizing of the environmental benefits could be just one of the instruments to create more opportunities for energy crops. The technical barriers and institutional barriers for liquid biofuels are much smaller than for solid biofuels. On the other hand the energy output/input ratios, for solid biofuels, are much higher than for liquid biofuels. A parallel development of the liquid biofuels and the solid biofuels for energy routes is recommended. However, from the environmental point of view, more emphasis should be placed on solid biofuels. There is a need for further integration of agricultural practices and the energy sector. Energy crops for power and heat purposes require fuel specifications which are not fully met yet. More research is recommended on relation between fuel requirements, selection of most suitable species and agricultural practices. There is significant room for reduction of the specific production costs by development to higher yields. The development of effective low cost machinery for harvesting and processing energy crops should be in close co operation with potential manufacturers and suppliers. The potential for many different energy crops is as one of a series of feedstocks in a local district heating plant or electric power station. One single crop does not have to be relied upon, since several different types of biomass and fossil fuels can be used together. Larger and long term scale tests on co combustion of energy in fossil fuelled power plants are recommended to evaluate and improve long term operation.


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