The environmental association has highlighted their doubts about the “environmentally sustainable, renewable and environmentally friendly” aspects of the centres.

While Zero has concerns, successive governments have announced since 2006 that the use of biomass centres benefit forests, people and local economies. However, “what we see is the existence of unsustainable exploitation of the forest with the burning of quality wood for the production of electricity” that is bad for consumers.

According to Lusa News Agency, Zero adds that “the burning of forest biomass contributes to the emission of large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, as well as to the destruction of ecosystems crucial to carbon capture, delaying the fight against climate change by decades”.

With 21 biomass centres licensed in Portugal, which annually consume around four million tonnes, Zero also says that the location of the centres “have not always been the most correct”, pointing to the Fundão centre as “the most striking case”.

According to Lusa, some centres are installed “less than 500 metres from houses”, and operate 24 hours a day. This is the subject of complaints because of excessive noise and poor air quality and the effects of the lack of an environmental impact study, “which is not mandatory for investments with a power of less than 50 megawatts”.