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Integrated European Network for Biomass Co-firing

Final Report Summary - NETBIOCOF (Integrated European Network for Biomass Co-firing)

The primary objective of 'Integrated European network for biomass co-firing' (NETBIOCOF) Co-ordination Action was to 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 in the New Member States. It aimed the integration and unification of efforts and the exchange of knowledge and expertise between West and East Europe to promote the development and uptake of innovative methods and technologies to expand the use of biomass co-firing. A biomass co-firing expert platform and a co-ordination platform was established, in order to co-ordinate and assess on-going research and to develop suitable assessment activities with the aim of identifying best practices, gaps in knowledge and barriers to further execution, as well as proposing strategies of implementation and directions for futures research.

Biomass co-firing represents, compared to other renewable sources, a technically feasible option with the potential of contributing to the EU energy supply meanwhile ensuring sustainable development. Co-firing of biomass with coal offers several advantages, such as the utilisation of large quantities at low combustion rates in the current combustion systems, lower investments and higher conversion efficiencies compared to systems fired exclusively with biomass. The EC has recognised the need of promoting the use of biomass co-firing in order to comply with the Kyoto Protocol which implies a reduction of 8 % of the greenhouse emissions between 2006 and 2012.

The specific strategic objectives on the NETBIOCOF Co-ordination Action were:
- to co-ordinate current research activities in the all Europe in order to promote cooperation and avoid overlapping and duplication of efforts;
- to encourage the establishment of permanent communication links between research centres, business and other stakeholders in Europe, promoting the know-how exchange and expertise in relation to biomass co-firing;
- to develop adequate recommendations for biomass co-firing implementation in targeted European countries, focussed on the socio-economic, technological, climate conditions, legal and political requirements;
- to initiate and guide future R&D activities on an European level by mapping current research activities and forming research clusters in order to fulfil the scientific and technological needs for the further implementation of biomass co-firing;
- to disseminate and promote biomass co-firing as a sustainable energy source option.

The scientific and technological objectives of the NETBIOCOF Co-ordination Action were:
- to assess on-going research in biomass co-firing in Europe, identifying the gaps in knowledge and the barriers for the cooperation of R&D activities in a European scope;
- to document the state-of-the-art in the European biomass co-firing sector, with a special focus on East and Central European applications, in order to identify successful experiences through the region;
- to identify technical and non-technical barriers for the biomass co-firing further implementation in Europe, in order to propose local and global strategies to overcome them.

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