Integrated Bioenergy Hybrids: Flexible Renewable Energy Solutions
by Michael Eggleston* (Advanced Biofuels USA) On September 14, IEA Bioenergy presented a free international webinar entitled, “Integrated Bioenergy Hybrids – Flexible Renewable Energy Solutions” presented by Elina Hakkarainen.
Designed to optimize the potential of a variety of different energy sources, an integrated bioenergy hybrid is an energy conversion process that has at least two energy inputs; one of which is bioenergy.
Today, the heating and cooling sector represents about a half of the EU’s annual energy consumption. Bioenergy is developing to become an important contributor in this sector with investment in renewables contributing up to 70% of the $11.4tn (€10.2tn) power generation investment within the next 25 years according to Bloomberg. Wind, gas and photovoltaics (PV) alone have emerged to become the fastest growing technologies in the EU. Just in 2015, Denmark’s market for solar-thermal increased +55%.
With a clear demand for low-carbon technologies to balance differences in energy supply and demand, how can a reliable energy supply be maintained while meeting tomorrow’s emission targets?
Research on the topic was recently published by IEA Bioenergy. The partners of the project surveying bioenergy hybrid technologies from the domestic to industrial scale in Finland, Germany and Austria were VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Bioenergy 2020+ and Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ). Their findings concluded that incorporating bioenergy into these energy systems facilitated dispatchable generation and storage as a flexible resource.
* Michael Eggleston is a chemical engineering student specializing in the process control & risk management of sustainable development with the University of Rhode Island’s International Engineering Program and spending a semester abroad at the Technische Universität Darmstadt: Darmstadt, Germany. He will be reporting on and representing Advanced Biofuels USA at international conferences.
Updated with text and link corrections 12:30ET 9/15/2017 and 1800ET 9/18/2017