The current state of biomass in Wallonia

Wallonia is full of biomass resources. From beet to cereals, hemp, rapeseed, wood and organic waste, these sustainable and local resources offer interesting energy applications that enable Wallonia to get rid of petroleum products: production of heat, biogas, electricity or even mobility solutions. Since 2003, biomass is the primary source of renewable energy. Today, in Wallonia, almost 40% of renewable electricity and more than 95% of renewable heat are produced from biomass.

Source : APERE

Source : APERE

A significant development potential

Despite its leading role in the Walloon renewable mix, the sector’s development potential remains very high through the development and exploitation of various technologies:

  • pyrogasification,
  • anaerobic digestion,
  • power-to-gas, a future solution for storing renewable electricity in the form of hydrogen gas,
  • bioGNV, a new type of fuel produced locally from organic waste.

The sector offers development possibilities that outreach the field of energy. As Valbiom, a walloon cluster which brings together and federates the companies in the sector pointed out during its last general assembly, biomass energy products enable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to develop local employment, to produce a storable energy and to recover waste such as liquid manure, household waste, etc. As such, biomass projects are clearly part of a circular economy logic widely promoted in Europe and Wallonia.

Source : Valbiom

WattElse’s activity in biomass

Aware of the economic and environmental opportunities of the biomass sector, WattElse helps public and private actors by studying the feasibility of this kind of project. We studied for the town of Thuin (Wallonia) the financial and technical opportunity to install a boiler fuelled by miscanthus. For Genappe (Wallonia), we analysed the opportunity to install a heating network within the Espace 2000 powered by a biomass boiler. This project should emerge in 2020. Finally, we are in contact with agricultural companies to study the capacity increase of a functioning biomethanisation unit and to study the technical, economic and legal aspects of setting up CNG reloading point that would power CNG vehicles.

The importance of keeping informed

As the biomass sector is extremely dynamic, the WattElse team is regularly informed of technological and legal developments in the sector by joining the Valbiom and by participating actively in the working groups on the field. within the Edora federation. Last June, we also attended the exhibition Expo Biogaz held in Lille (France), which allowed us to meet industry players present in France and Belgium and to keep abreast of developments in the sector, both in technical terms, economic than legal.

During this event, we have seen that France is one step ahead regarding the injection of biogas and its use for mobility and we should try to move in this direction with specific actors (logistics, transport, etc.).

The challenges of the sector in Wallonia

In Wallonia, the biomass sector remains the poor relation of current public policies, although the technologies are reliable. However, the challenges are important to ensure a long-term and serene development of the sector:

  • Ensure a clear and sustainable public support mechanism;
  • Limit the risks associated with the supply of inputs over the long term by encouraging the establishment of efficient and stable supply chains ensuring the operation of production units over time;
  • And promote the development of a sustainable legal framework facilitating the obtaining of authorizations (permits).

Do you have a biomass project and do you want to study its feasibility? Do not hesitate to contact us at 082/226 229.