After fueling the Industrial Revolution in the XVIII century, coal is about to be put aside. At least these are EU's plans for the foreseeable future.
There's not a lot of talking about coal here in Italy, probably because we get the most part of our energy from natural gas. According to the official stats however, our situation is an exception compared to the rest of our European partners, who still get most of their energy from coal.
In the climatic emergency we're going through however, finding alternative and renewable sources with a lower impact on the environment has become one of the main points of EU government's agenda. But what are the best candidates to substitute coal in Europe?
Thinking that any type of renewable energy would do, as long as it's renewable, would only take care of part of the problem. Coal has several disadvantages, that's undeniable, but one thing it does offer: a reliable a constant source of energy, at any latitude and part of the year.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for renewable energies such as solar, geothermal or eolic, whose availability is strongly affected by geographic location and local climate.
With biomasses (which we talked about previously) however, it's a different story. A biomass power plant can use different organic sources, from food to wood, from excrements to urban waste. Such a variety of sources makes this type of renewable energy way more flexible than others, and more able to adapt to sudden shifts in demand.
Although this advantage of biomass energy is not enough to make it the "silver bullet" of all environmental issues, it's still enough to justify the particular attention around it and the quantity of investments this sector is attracting.
In this scenario, Central and Eastern Europe (Poland and Hungary above all) are about to play a very important role, especially in the supply of corn for energy and fuel production, thanks to two factors: the exceptional yield of farmed land, relatively higher than in other EU countries, and the availability of vast areas of unexploited land.
Cividac works with one of the leaders in the renewable energy sector, supplying crucial components for energy production (evaporators, pre-heaters, condensers, regenerators, etc) and also managing biomass energy plants in Eastern Europe.