Ecoforest pellet stoves and boilers, large manufacturer from the north of Spain
Ecoforest pellet stoves and boilers, large manufacturer from the north of Spain

SMEs from the biomass sector challenge the gas and oil giants for thermal uses

The setting for a re-launch of an increasingly competitive thermal biomass sector was Expobioenergía 2013, which attracted 16,000 professionals from 33 countries.

Expobioenergía has done it again: more exhibitors, more floor space hired out, more professional visitors and more requests for exhibition space reservations for next year. The fair, which specialises in biomass technology and is a European reference point, was held for the 8th time from 22nd to 24th of October in Valladolid, Spain. 16,022 professionals from 33 countries were registered, slightly up on last year’s figure of 15,514. In geographic terms, 40% of visitors came from Castile and Leon, 50% from other Spanish Autonomous Community regions and 10% from abroad, with Portugal topping the list as the most represented country.

The complete data from surveys carried out by the organisers is still being processed, but initial commentaries indicate that the professional profile of the attendees has met exhibitor expectations. The general mood and satisfaction expressed by those responsible for enterprises and brands on display indicate that Expobionenergía is now one of the most valued fairs in the south of Europe for doing business and for SMEs to be able to compete with fossil fuel multinationals and their imposing communication campaigns. The organisers see success in the increase in business for SMEs using biomass for thermal uses in the face of large gas and oil distribution multinationals that have continued to anchor their strategy on the outflow of currency to other countries, on pollution and on subsidies. The fact that Expobioenergía is the only industry fair that has grown steadily since the crisis began also confirms that biomass is triumphing in thermal uses.

The exhibition side of Expobioenergía 2013 comprised 444 enterprises and brands from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Spain, the United States, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the Czech Republic. There has been a 15% increase in this section on last year’s fair.

Two of Europe’s most important manufacturers of boilers and stoves and of manufacturing equipment for pellets and chips were also present in Valladolid. They were joined by the pellet manufacturers themselves, and makers of equipment for channeling and for District Heating or distributed heating, as well as a multitude of accessories for installations of all kinds. In short, everything you need to replace fossil-based energy with biomass in our towns and villages was to be found at Expobioenergía 2013. The vast range of projects, products and services has been the perfect attraction for the professional visitors, who have made the most of the three days of intense work that ended last Thursday and that, for AVEBIOM and Fundación Cesefor, have been a another stop on a continuing journey as they are already working on the next event for 2014.

The other side of the coin is that there has been scarce representation in 2013 by enterprises linked to electricity generation. The sectors related to this technology, such as agricultural and livestock, forestry, energy, recycling, installers, trust that the Government will find a way for part of the 45 billion euros we send to gas and oil producing countries will be able to stay in the country to generate stable employment and to add value to our land by encouraging the use of biomass for electricity.

Professionals from the sector are getting closer and closer to society

Most of the professionals passing through Expobioenergía were finalising contracts, adjusting budgets and finding out about new alternatives and innovations in the market in order to offer energy solutions to public administrations, enterprises and individuals.

The conclusion is that Bioenergy implementation is unstoppable and is ready to reach each and every home in our country, each and every hospital, old people’s home, school, office, town hall, factory, hotel, in short, each and every point on the map. Bioenergy has arrived to change the energy panorama in Spain by reducing the bills for heating and hot water for all users and by avoiding the exodus of billions of euros overseas.

Xavier Diaz, president of Avebiom one of the two partner organizing  Expobioenergia
Xavier Diaz, president of Avebiom one of the two partner organizing Expobioenergia

Society is becoming aware of the importance of biomass as an energy source that can generate savings of up to 50% in heating costs. Furthermore, both the technology and the supply are more reliable and stable in price terms than those for gas- or oil-fired systems. At the same time, beyond the merely economic advantages, users are increasingly better informed and understand that biomass is safer, more comfortable and more environmentally sustainable, can prevent forest fires, and is certified by leading bodies internationally.
We hope to see you in Expobioenergia 2014 !

Text by Jorge Herrero. Project Manager

Photos: Lennart Ljungblom

Outside presentation from Bieber.
Outside presentation from Bieber.