The EU Commission has awarded €1 billion to 19 innovative renewable energy projects and the first carbon capture and storage (CCS) project under the NER 300 program. The projects cover a wide range of low-carbon technologies − from CCS oxyfuel technology, bioenergy (including advanced biofuels), concentrated solar power and geothermal power to wind power, photovoltaics, ocean energy and smart grids. The projects will be hosted in 12 EU Member States including Estonia and Latvia.
Estonia – Fast pyrolysis – Bioenergy. Pyrolysis is a thermochemical decomposition of organic material at elevated temperatures in the absence of oxygen to produce gas and liquid products. The project concerns fast pyrolysis technology for conversion of woody biomass to pyrolysis oil, the liquid product of this technology. Annual feedstock needs are 130,000 t of woodchips. The plant in Pärnu, Estonia, will also receive energy inputs from a combined heat and power (CHP) plant and deliver by-products as inputs to the CHP plant. Annual output of pyrolysis oil is expected to be 50,000 t which will be exported to Sweden and Finland to replace heavy fuel oil in power plants.
Estonia – TORR – Bioenergy. Torrefaction of biomass is a mild form of pyrolysis (see fast pyrolysis project above) at low temperatures typically ranging between 200 and 320°C. The project concerns a torrefaction plant in Rakke, Estonia, for the production of 100 kt/year of bio-coal from 260 kt/year of local woody biomass. The project includes a biomass gasification CHP unit that will provide heat and power to the plant. The technology has been developed in order to use cheaper feedstock (low quality biomass) to produce an intermediate product with a high calorific value.