Biomass as Renewable Energy
Biomass can as a renewable energy be used to produce a diverse range of energy products (heat, power, and liquid biofuels) and energy carriers (gas, chars, and chemicals). Biomass-based energy has advantages over other fuels or energy forms because it is:
- Currently used for energy production and fits with existing infrastructure.
- A widely distributed resource.
- Available in a range of renewable forms such as purpose grown crops, residues from existing crops, residues and wastes from agricultural and industrial processes and municipal wastes.
- Carbon-neutral when based on sustainable crops, forests or residue streams.
- Wood remains the largest biomass energy source today; examples include forest residues (such as dead trees, tree stumps, branches and tree clippings), sawdust, and wood chips.
Industrial biomass for biofuels can be grown from numerous types of plants, including kenaf, miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow, sorghum, sugarcane, bamboo and a variety of tree species, ranging from eucalyptus to palm oil.
Biofuels provided nearly 4% of the world’s transport fuel in 2013. Mandates for blending biofuels exist in 35 countries and according to the International Energy Agency; biofuels have the potential to meet more than a quarter of world demand for transportation fuels by 2050.
Bio-based industries are the only sectors that can become increasingly self-sufficient in terms of material inputs and energy, therefore sustainable development is dependent on fostering such sectors.
Solid Bio-Fuels & Biomass Pellets
Solid Bio-fuel & Biomass pellets are eco-friendly, and are generally made out of left over organic residues. They can effectively help meet the energy and heat generation needs in the residential, commercial and industrial segments. Pellets can help reduce reliance on conventional fossil fuels such as coal, without the need for significant changes in existing energy generation technology, thereby significantly reducing CO2 emissions.
” Worldwide the Biomass pellet market has grown significantly and some forecasts expect the market to double by 2020.”
Renewable energy technologies are getting cheaper, through technological change and through the benefits of mass production and market competition. Worldwide investment in renewables continues to receive hundreds of billions of dollars in investment each year.
A 2012 IEA report said:
“A portfolio of renewable energy technologies is becoming cost-competitive in an increasingly broad range of circumstances, in some cases providing investment opportunities without the need for specific economic support,” and added that “cost reductions in critical technologies, such as wind, solar and bioenergy, are set to continue.”
100% Renewable Energy in the future?
The motivation to use 100% renewable energy, for electricity, transport, or even total primary energy supply globally, has been driven by climate change and other ecological as well as economic concerns. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that there are few fundamental technological limits to integrating a portfolio of renewable energy technologies to meet most of total global energy demand. Renewable energy use has grown much faster than even advocates anticipated. At the national level, at least 30 nations around the world already have renewable energy contributing more than 20% of energy supply.