This morning, Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs, State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure and the Environment and a number of leaders of the sustainable business community in the Netherlands signed the Green Deal Business for biomass and bio-based gas. This was done during the Innovation Expo in Amsterdam.
In this Green Deal, sustainable leaders in the industry, the renewable-gas sector, knowledge institutes and the government will work together in the coming year on the development of a bio-based economy and an increase in the contribution of renewable gas to the energy mix. DSM, AkzoNobel, FrieslandCampina, Suiker Unie, Gasunie, Port of Rotterdam Authority, Groen Gas Nederland, ECN Energy Academy Europe and the Ministries of Economic Affairs, and Infrastructure and the Environment signed the Green Deal.
Biomass chains and innovation
Biomass is an important source of sustainable raw materials and energy. At present, launching such projects is still a difficult task. The purpose of the Green Deal is to jointly study why this is the case and what it takes to achieve profitable projects, based on specific business cases. This way, the signatories intend to pave the way for investments in existing and new biomass flows and innovations for better applications.
Biomass as a pillar in the greening of raw materials and in increased sustainability of the energy mix
Typical of the use of biomass in this Green Deal is 'multiple value creation': using new, scalable conversion technologies such as bio-refinery and gasification, biomass can provide both renewable raw materials and bio-energy (renewable gas). Renewable gas is an indispensable element in the sustainable energy mix of the future. It offers solutions for sectors in which it is difficult to increase sustainability, such as heavy transport and industrial high-temperature processes. It can be used as efficiently as natural gas, and offers the same system benefits. It is estimated that in 2050 biomass will represent over 50% of the sustainable energy mix.
The principle of cascading is used to create multiple values: first, the high-quality raw materials, such as minerals, protein and fibres suitable for applications in the industry are extracted from the biomass. Finally, sustainable energy in the form of renewable gas is generated from the residual product through fermentation, gasification and refining. This process allows all valuable components from existing biomass flows to be fully utilised. This optimisation of value creates opportunities for the development of new biomass flows such as aquatic biomass. The government considers this multiple value creation for biomass as an important key to the increased sustainability of the chemical industry and energy supply.