Currently, Spain has 27 million hectares of forests. It is the third largest forest area in Europe after Sweden and Finland., and those forests are rich in what we call primary biomass. “Dry leaves, branches that have fallen, trees that have died…”, listed Miguel Aguado, environmental communicator and director of ‘B Leaf.
All that inert vegetation becomes a powerful and dangerous fuel that fuels forest fires. That is why it is so important to clear and clean the forest before summer. “The difference between having a well-managed forest with the biomass extracted is that the fire it will occupy much fewer hectares and will have less virulence“, explained Aguado.
In addition, that biomass is very useful. It can be used in gardening or in the paper industry, but it is also used to produce clean energy. This has been indicated by Eduardo Rojas, dean of the College of Forestry Engineers: “When we have a tip for any situation, because the reservoirs are empty… we can have that strategic contribution of biomass to avoid price spikes or disproportionate gas spending”.
Now, the European Union is considering eliminating financial aid for this primary biomass used as fuel. “The wood industry has not liked these premiums very much for fear that more valuable wood ends up going for convenience to electric use,” Rojas said. A decision that would harm the forestry sector, dedicated precisely to the care and use of our forests.
“If these aids condition us to the use of biomass, they are harming one of the few tools to stimulate management,” said Francisco Garrido, president of the Confederation of Associations of Selviculturists of Spain. It is precisely the interior and wooded area of our country that is the most betting for the biomass. If we transport it too far, it is no longer environmentally sustainable.