Historically Chile's power and energy have been dominated by damaging fossil fuels, with over 70% of total primary energy supplied by coal, oil or gas, despite the country’s low fossil fuel resources.
In recent years, however, Chile has been making great strides to become an industry leader in geothermal, solar and wind energy, and other “Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE)” sources, as defined in Chilean law. Furthermore, they have begun to develop more NCREs, including Biomass and other waste to energy solutions.
Biomass power is considered a ‘bridging solution’ – allowing waste products to be used to generate power as an alternative to high-emitting fossil fuels, whilst we scale up capacity for solar, wind and other types of renewables to accommodate our global energy needs.
Here at Cannabrew we are all about circular systems and with the goal of creating the best and most sustainable beers and ciders we have chosen to support the following project in Chile to help them scale these new developments.
This month's project involves the production of electricity through the collection and processing of waste biomass from the Viñales sawmill located in central Chile. The waste biomass is then burned in a boiler to generate steam, which, in turn, passes through a turbine to result in electrical energy.
The biomass used for the production of the electricity will consist of the byproducts from the sawmill’s industrial activity, with any additional biomass available from nearby forestry pruning actions. In the absence of the project activity, this waste biomass would likely be burned in the open air or left to decay which releases more Carbon Dioxide into the ecosystem.
The byproduct and Biomass operations go on to power the sawmill with the remaining electricity being distributed to the local grid. The Project itself is estimated to reduce emissions and Carbon Dioxide by over 250,000 tCO2e per year by replacing the burning of fossil fuels for energy.