Serra, towards energy independence

Serra joins the biomass

Serra is one of the towns in the Valencian Community, with a clear vocation to be energy self-sufficient. A few years ago they started a local project use of bioenergy. They convert gardening, agriculture and forestry residues (mainly from fire prevention works) into biofuel suitable for local uses.

In order to provide the project with economic viability, one of the first aspects that was realized was the need to activate the local demand for the product. So, under this policy the first step was transform public buildings into biomass consumption facilities replacing traditional heat sources, based on fossil fuels (non-renewable), by modern boilers that demanded plant biomass (renewable).

With the demand for activated product, a process aimed at convert green waste into a solid fuel from which to obtain energy: wood pellets of local origin.

After four years of full operation, the results are positive (and sustainable):

  • Average annual savings in green waste management: 25.000 €
  • Average annual saving of electricity: 16.000 €
  • Total economic savings for the municipality (4 years of operation): 164.000 €
  • Total energy of the biomass boilers: 100 kilowatts (250 kilowatts in winter 2016-2017)
  • Tons of wood pellets produced / consumed (per year): 50 tons.
  • Total reduction of CO2 emissions due to non-use of electric power: 100.000 kg.
  • Hectares managed by forestry work for the prevention of forest fires: 130 ha.
  • Employment created in wood pellet production plant: 2 people.
  • Employment created by forest fire prevention works: 6 people.

Serra is a Valencian town of just 3.142 inhabitants (according to the 2015 census) of the Camp de Túria region. The 95% of its surface (5.730 hectares) is located within the Serra Calderona Natural Park. Most of its territory is forestry, and also has a medium to high fire risk, so the use of fire in certain activities is a threat to both the park and the economy.