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Climate Action 2010-2011

SPECIAL FEATURE | Grupo

SPECIAL FEATURE | Grupo Modelo Main fuels used in the brewing boilers (%). Brewing beer by-products into energy Percentage of renewable energy. Mexico’s leading beer company, Grupo Modelo, is using the spent grain from beer production as a green alternative to fossil fuels. Grupo Modelo has over 60 per cent of Mexico’s domestic beer market and also exports well-known brands such as Corona Extra to the UK, US and Canada. A strategic objective for the company is the gradual and progressive substitution of fossil fuels for renewable energy. Spent or waste barley malt from beer production consists mainly of fibre, husks and protein. It contains no hazardous chemicals and is often used as cattle feed. This process that transforms spent grain into alternative energy is carried out at Grupo Modelo’s brewery in Zacatecas, Compañía Cervecera de Zacatecas, a brewery that has an annual installed capacity of 20 million hectolitres. The concept, design, equipment acquisition, installation, tests and start up of the project took approximately two years. The spent grain burning system was commissioned in mid-2008. Steam and electrical energy are required by both the beer production process and the service areas. The former process is carried out in boilers that use fuel oil and biogas produced by the anaerobic process of waste water treatment. Steam is used for indirect heating in the brewing process and for electrical energy generation by steam turbines. The goal is to use spent grain as an alternative fuel for the generation of steam and electrical energy required by the Zacatecas brewery. After mashing the grains to produce the liquid ‘wort’ that will eventually become beer, the spent grain has a moisture content of 80 per cent. The grain is then dried to reduce moisture levels to less than 25 per cent before it is introduced into the boiler. Emissions generated by the combustion of spent grain do not increase the potential for global warming. Instead the fuel can be seen as carbon neutral as the carbon emitted is the same carbon absorbed during photosynthesis in the growing stages of the barley. Moreover, since this by-product contains almost no sulphur – 0.34 per cent compared to an average of four per cent for fuel oil – sulphur dioxide concentration in combustion gases also decreases. Benefits of the project: • Decrease in emissions by approximately 70,000 tonnes of CO 2 per year; • 20 per cent annual savings in fuel oil consumption when using 100 per cent of the spent grain generated by beer production; • Use of by-products of the brewing process as alternative fuel and renewable energy source; • Increase in the generation and recovery of biogas (methane) as an alternative fuel in boilers. Grupo Modelo, founded in 1925, is Mexico’s market leader in beer production, distribution and marketing, with 63.3 per cent of the total (domestic and export) market share, as of December 2009. It has an annual installed capacity in Mexico of 65 million hectolitres. It brews and distributes 13 brands, including Corona Extra, the number one internationally reknowned Mexican beer, Modelo Especial, Victoria, Pacífico and Negra Modelo. It exports six brands throughout 160 countries. It is the importer of Anheuser-Busch Inbev’s products in Mexico, including Budweiser, Bud Light and O’Doul’s. It also imports the Chinese Tsingtao brand and the Danish beer Carlsberg. Through a strategic alliance with Nestlé Waters, it produces and distributes within Mexico the bottled water brands Santa María and Nestlé Pureza Vital, among others. Grupo Modelo has traded in the Mexican Stock Exchange since 1994 (GMODELOC). It is also quoted as an ADR under the ticker GPMCY in over the counter markets and in Latibex in Spain as XGMD. Website: www.gmodelo.com | 48 | www.climateactionprogramme.org

Energy and Mitigation Middelgrunden Offshore Wind Farm, Copenhagen, Denmark. © Creative commons/flickr/PEBondestad Why wind power will lead the lowcarbon energy supply of the future Professor Arthorous Zervos President of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) Wind power provides a green, never-ending power supply, writes Prof Arthorous Zervos, President of EWEA. Wind is one of the world’s most abundant energy resources, it does not emit harmful greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides (NOx) nor other air pollutants, and it uses no water during operation. It can be scaled up relatively rapidly and start reducing carbon emissions with immediate effect. In Europe, wind power has made the shift into the mainstream. It is a proven technology and must be harnessed further if the region is to meet its carbon reduction targets. Slowly and, in many cases, reticently, the world is waking up to climate change, but world leaders are yet to go the extra mile in carbon reductions that could keep global warming in check. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that global greenhouse gas emissions will have to peak by 2015 and decline thereafter. If we do not start cutting carbon now, unchecked global warming could wreak havoc worldwide. In a recent study, scientists found that people alive today could live to see a 4°C rise in temperatures over pre-industrial levels which could endanger the water supply of 50 per cent of the world’s population, lead to the extinction of as many as half of all plant and animal species, raise the frequency of freak weather conditions and cause widespread flooding of coastal areas. The study, carried out by the Met Office in the UK, also found that in some areas – namely the Arctic, and Western and Southern Africa – temperatures could rise by up to a staggering 10°C. All this could happen if we fail to dramatically reduce the quantity of carbon we emit by burning fossil fuels. We are currently burning carbon on a massive scale for our industry, transport and domestic needs. In the short time frame scientists are talking about, it seems obvious that we must use the climate-saving technologies we have at our fingertips on a vast scale. In this context, wind energy is one of the strongest tools the world has against climate change. The more advanced developing countries must end the use of fossil fuels and move rapidly to a renewable energy economy – one in which wind power will play a strong role supported by other renewable energies. European Union sets the example on climate change policies In the EU, we are fortunate to be where the world’s most advanced policies against climate change have already been put into action. Two targets – the first to cut carbon emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, the second to see renewable energy comprising 20 per cent of the total energy mix – are significant steps forward for the protection of our planet. Implicit in the latter is the need to increase the share of renewable electricity to at least 34 per cent before 2020. www.climateactionprogramme.org | 49 |