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Biomass fuel: The facts
Biomass fuel is the largest form of renewable energy in Europe currently and consists of anything from waste, forestry and agricultural residues and energy crops.
We’ve been using biomass for thousands of years but in recent times the applications for biomass have developed incredibly quickly and there’s now a range of methods to help convert biomass material into electricity and heat.
These biomass materials are effectively a carbon neutral option for those wanting to heat their home since the wood fuel is cost-effective and reliable. Essentially, the process of growing wood for biomass removes carbon from the atmosphere but will then place it back when it is burned, this is known as a closed carbon cycle and does not increase CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
Attractions for a business to use biomass fuel
There are attractions for a business to use biomass fuel – the main one being that they would see a reduction in their operating costs.
Also, from 2019 all new non-domestic properties will be ‘zero carbon’ which means the buildings will be energy efficient and meet low carbon energy needs. Biomass fuels are a great way to do this and will help boost the firm’s ‘green credentials’ if they generate their own renewable energy.
Biomass fuel: The facts you may not know:
- Biomass helps the Earth by removing carbon from the atmosphere
- Biomass crops are sustainable
- It costs less to heat a home or business premises using biomass energy
- Biomass energy currently accounts for around 10% of the world’s energy needs
- Biomass fuel usually comes in the form of wood pellets, wood chips and logs
- Biomass fuel will never run out, especially if replacement trees or crops are planted
- Biomass fuels are less susceptible to price rises such as gas and oil
The biomass fuel industry creates pellets from a range of materials including wood from forestry and wood processing, specially grown high yield energy crops, agricultural processing and harvesting residues, food waste as well as industrial waste from the manufacturing process. The popularity of using biomass to meet our energy needs is growing quickly in Europe.
Biggest attraction for biomass fuel is probably cost
However, the biggest attraction for biomass fuel is probably cost: the average cost for kWh of heat using electricity is 14p while for wood pellets and mains gas it is 4p and wood chips it is 2.5p. Using wood logs is free.
For anyone thinking of introducing biomass fuels for heating their home or business, they can reduce their carbon dioxide output by 9.5tonnes every year by replacing their electric or coal powered heating system.
Biomass fuels will become increasingly important over the coming years as growing numbers of people, firms and organisations opt to use renewable energy for their heating and lighting needs and not only save money along the way but also help our environment.