Decrease in consumption of fossil fuels
About 80% of the energy that the EU consumes comes from fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal- being a significant and growing part of this energy imported from outside the EU. In imports is highlighted that the present dependence on imported oil and gas is 50%, with a tendency to increase, which puts the EU in a situation of vulnerability to possible reductions in supply or price increases.
Apart from the economic reasons and vulnerability of supply, fossil fuels will still bring serious environmental damage, since their use is a major cause of air emissions of CO2, the most significant of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) .
The increased production of energy from renewable sources causes the decrease of the consumption of fossil fuels. Thus, in addition to respecting the environment, compared to the autochthonous nature of these energy sources, risks of foreign dependence are smaller.
Contribution to reducing the greenhouse effect and climate changes
When using the energy stored in the biomass greenhouse gases are realesed, in particular carbon dioxide (CO2). However, this amount of CO2 is lower than that consumed during production of biomass through photosynthesis. This is because the root – who is a part of the carbon produced by the plant – will tend to remain in the soil. Thus, the use of biomass as a fuel gives rise, in reality, a small net decrease in CO2 in the atmosphere. If not proceed to the combustion of biomass, its natural decomposition would result in the same amount of CO2. If the biomass is used for energy production, also contributes to reducing the use of fossil fuels, avoiding the emission of CO2.
Promoting rural development, job creation and the local / regional economy
In rural areas, you should bet on indigenous resources as a means of creating wealth, and that is something that fulfills three main goals of sustainability: social, economic development and environmental protection.
The use of forest biomass for energy fits precisely in this context, to the extent that: create economic opportunities, social opportunities and the enhancement and protection of the environment.
Decreased risk of forest fire
The structural fire risk isdirectly related to the quantity and type of combustible and the weather conditions. This risk is particularly high in the southern regions of Europe and the North of Portugal and southern Galicia are not exceptions.
By influencing the amount of this by removing the primary forest biomass fuel, in addition to being able to generate greater economic value of forest property (if it is used for energy production), contributes not only to mitigate the problem of fires, as well as from sanitary origin (proliferation of pests and diseases) or accessibility to the interior of forests.