The second day of the National Congress of Irrigation and Renewable Energy analyses the opportunities that arise from the synergies between the irrigators communities and biomass production, as well as in the future and prospects for biofuel.
In addition, novel practices have been presented within the field of hydropower heads and innovative energy operating cost experiences.
The second day of the first National Congress of irrigation and Renewable Energy, organised by the government of Navarra through the Instituto Navarro de Tecnologías e Infraestructuras Agroalimentarias (Navarre Institute of Food Technology and Infrastructures – INTIA. Irrigation division) and the National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER), held over two days, yesterday and today, in Pamplona, has placed special emphasis on the benefits offered by biomass to generate energy and on the advantages offered by the links with the irrigators communities insofar as its production is concerned.
In this sense, Peter Kasamaki from VICEDEX, has presented his experience with fast-growing woody crops, more specifically with Paulownia, to generate electricity. This crop, which is already being grown in the regions of Cadiz and Ciudad Real provides great advantages thanks to its regeneration capacity and its low carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, he pointed out that, with respect to irrigation, “energy crops are a feasible alternative faced with the high costs of traditional energy”, and that “it is very important to establish links with the irrigators communities to facilitate their biomass generation work”.
On his part, Alberto Lafarga from the Agricultural Division of INTIA, attached to the Department of Rural Development, Industry, Employment, and Environment, expressed the need to foster biomass from crop waste to cope with the needs of our society, although he has warned that “the efficiency of this type of energy is still very low”. He also pointed out that “the production cost is the key aspect for its development” as this determines that the part of the crop earmarked for biomass has or does not have space within the agricultural fields. In so far as biofuel is concerned he highlighted that “the second-generation ones represent an opportunity to use lignocellulosic energy crops and waste in the production of ethanol”.
Joseph Turmo from ABENCIS also pointed out that “the search for an efficient model of use and the cost reduction of biomass is one of the challenges that exists around the production”. In this sense, he stated that their efforts are focused on “the free use of normal machinery although with new applications such as precision harvesting by geolocation or the generation of a compacting system to transport it”.
Ines Echeverria from CENER placed emphasis on the fact that “the forecasts indicate that the demand for biofuel for transport is going to increase and have greater sustainability requirements”. Due to this “the development of second-generation production processes is going to be necessary, to use lignocellulosic biomass as a new alternative biofuel”. And she added that “a critical aspect in the development of the sector is the use of biorefinery concepts for the integral use of biomass”.
With reference to practical experiences, Cesar Trillo from the Community of Irrigators of Alto Aragon underscored “the economic, environmental, and social sustainability represented by the hydropower heads. This is a source of income to relieve the increase in cost of water, derived from the increase in energy consumption in modernised irrigation methods”. She also pointed out that “mini-hydro is the energy whose use has the least associated environmental impact of all renewable energies”.
Finally, Jesus Garcia Ramos from Aguacanal presented energy operating cost experiences in the Irrigable Area of the Canal of Navarra, such as, for instance, in the maintenance of pumping stations or in the use of telecontrol in the management of irrigation.
A public company attached to the Department of Rural Development, Industry Employment and Environment of the Government of Navarra. The objective of its irrigation division is to favour the development of the agricultural sector by creating and improving production infrastructures for irrigation and by training professionals from the sector in irrigation techniques.
More information at: www.riegosdenavarra.com
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