The aim is to show how and at what cost new vegetation in arid or deserted coastal areas could be initiated by a simple bio-energy scheme including an advanced power plant of small size (around 100kWe) with electricity generation based on biomass liquid or gaseous fuel. This feasibility study of a small
scale project enclosing a pilot cultivation of energy crops, totally self-sufficient in terms of water and energy supply
capability (RO/Distillation system for sea water desalination and a generator set fuelled by biomass), constitutes an
essential element for the reconstruction of a good quality
artificial soil and could demonstrate an ability to arrest
the desertification process. Great importance has to be given to the study and the improvement of crop characteristics in
relation to soil composition, crop and irrigation system,
etc., because of their influence on energy / water production.
Considering an area of about 10 ha on a remote deserted
coastal land of Tenerife, the biomass production cycles could begin with crops requiring low water inputs. In order to
restore a good quality soil which could be suitable for
cultivation, an artificial soil (thickness of about 50-80 cm) will be studied in collaboration with the Institut für
Pflanzenbau and ITER. This could be a mixture of local soil
and organic matter (compost made from local urban wastes
/sludge) improved by some water-retaining low-evaporation
crystal grains. Only desert areas located near the sea are
considered, giving a water supply for the desalination plant. Energy for the desalination unit will come from a biomass
power plant: during the full working cycle, power production would be sufficient to obtain, besides water for the energetic cultivations, some desalinated water for other uses (drinking water, irrigation for food production). Once the project pre-feasibility study has defined some different options or
scenarios, a more detailed evaluation will be possible on how to reach a completely self-sufficient system in terms of
energy and desalinated water demand/production.
Expected Achievements and Exploitation
The concept of recovering arid lands in remote sites with
surplus production of fresh water, electricity and heat/cold could be of interest for organisations which are planning
projects to make islands completely sufficient in energy-water needs. The "handbook" of good practices which will be
available for dissemination could become a reference document for regional (Mediterranean) development planning managers
promoting the implementation of desalination / MSW disposal / bioenergy integrated projects in coastal districts.
The following achievements are expected:
1. Guidelines for recovery technologies for desert areas.
2. Economic costs guidelines.
3. Time scheduling guidelines for recovery of polluted soils (MSW contaminants) and transformation to productive uses.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
38611 San Isidro. Santa Cruz De Tenerife