The energy that an industry needed for its production processes or a neighborhood community or a hotel to heat its residents in 2022 was 4,6 times more expensive if it was obtained with gas than if wood chips were used.
Domestic pellet consumers, for their part, saved 44% compared to gas consumers. These are data from Eurostats and IDAE prepared by the Spanish Association of Biomass for the second semester of 2022 in Spain.
When in the summer of 2022 we saw how the energy crisis was literally running over us, the solid biofuel manufacturing sector -pellets, chips, bone...- set itself two objectives: to ensure the supply of the national market and to maintain price competitiveness against the fossil fuels.
Thus, national manufacturers and distributors controlled the volume of their exports to Central Europe, where the sale prices, despite the higher cost of transport and the consequent emissions, were much higher and the distribution centers were advancing purchases to try to avoid the collapse and an excessive rise in prices in their markets.
The vertiginous increase in the costs of electricity -in August 2022, one of the months with the highest production in pellet factories in Spain, the cost of electricity multiplied by five compared to the previous year- and of wood at source, caused due to a much higher demand than the supply, caused the unusual rise in pellet prices, which the producers tried as far as possible not to pass on in all their magnitude to the consumers.
Now that the waters are beginning to calm down, we see that both objectives have been met: there have been enough pellets and chips for consumers and prices, despite being much higher than the previous year, have continued to maintain an appreciable differential with those of the conventional fossil fuels (electricity, gas and heating oil), confirming that biomass has been, in 2022, the most economical source of energy for heating.
The European Statistical Office, Eurostats, has published the average prices, including taxes and fees, that consumers have actually paid in Spain and in the rest of the countries in 2022 and there we once again verify that biomass is the energy source that most savings generates heating and industrial heat users, sectors that consume close to 40% of the total energy in our country.
If we look at the prices that domestic consumers we have paid for energy, including taxes, fees, caps, etc., we see that electricity has had an average price of 33,50 euro cents per kWh, gas 18,55 cents, diesel 11,34 cents and the pellet 10,38 cents per kWh. In summary: heating with gas is 44% more expensive than heating with pellets, and heating with electric radiators, for example, costs three times as much as heating with pellets.
focusing attention in large consumers such as a community of neighbors, a hotel or an industry, for example, the average price of industrial gas in the second half of 2022 reached 13,68 euro cents per kWh, double that in 2021 and triple that in 2020, compared to the unbeatable price of wood chips, whose average was 2,95 euro cents per kWh during the second half of last year.
If we look at the price that consumers pay in the end, including fixed costs, tolls, taxes and the final prices set by energy companies when the supply runs out, biomass heating is much cheaper.