The Spanish Union of Small Farmers (UPA) of Jaen has undertaken since one year an experimental study of how to take advantage of olive biomass transforming it into energy
Each year more than 700,000 tons of vegetable matter resulting from the pruning of the olive groves of Jaen get burned. To convert olive branches into electricity is the purpose of the UPA’s project, which is closer to being a reality.
The management of this vegetable matter would be feasible from 50 euros per tonne. In this way it would be profitable to cut, chop and collect the olive branches (by pruning of the olive tree) in the olive grove and move it to the processing plant.
The most doubtful issue in this project actually concerns the transportation phase from the olive grove to the plant, since if the place of destination of the chopped wood is more than 30 kilometres away, the idea would not be profitable.
To prevent this from happening the UPA wants agricultural cooperatives to become centres for the collection, organization and logistics of each district. Along with the construction of several processing plants, strategically located in the province, this would allow the idea to be realized.
So far the only plant for processing and transformation of biomass near the province of Jaen is located in Puente Genil (Cordoba), but the project considers that five more will be launched soon.