Biomass energy is the renewable energy source that gets the least amount of attention. In fact, you barely hear about it at all in the United States. Yet despite this, Biomass has grown each year. Therefore, I have assembled a list of interesting biomass energy facts.
Keep in mind that the sheer volume of biomass, and how we often throw many of these fuel items away, can keep us going almost indefinitely.
Although there are pros and cons to biomass energy, the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages.
1. Biomass Is the Largest Renewable Energy Source in Europe
It may be hard to believe with the rate of new wind and solar farms, but Biomass continues to be the largest renewable energy source in Europe. Unlike other renewable energy sources, biomass is very versatile,
With it, you can use it as fuel in the transportation industry (biodiesel), use it for heating systems, and even for electricity generation. It can do pretty much anything and has found widespread success in European countries.
2. Can Help Reduce Forest Fire Risk
It’s no secret that plant waste can be turned into energy, and forests are teeming with it. This same waste is also one of the biggest reasons why forest fires spread. Dead plants, fallen trees, dried-out shrubs, and more act as kindling.
It’s all fuel for the flame, but instead of allowing it to spread a forest fire, it can be used as biomass fuel. This can help financially incentivize regular forest cleanups to reduce the risk of forest fires.
3. Biomass is the Oldest Energy Source
Before humanity ever tried to harness any other form of energy, they burned lumber and plants for warmth. It’s extremely simple, but as a result, biomass is the oldest form of energy in history.
While the exact date might never be found, one thing is sure, it’s tens of thousands of years old. And impressively, biomass is still doing the exact same thing today, with different fuel sources.
4. Increases Demand for Forests
Forests are essential for wildlife and the fight against climate change. However, justifying using land to maintain or expand a forest is hard to sell in 2021.
Biomass energy can help change that.
By increasing the amount of wood we use in a sustainable way, it ends up increasing the demand for lumber. This leads to more forests being planted or expanded to meet the higher demand.
5. More Carbon Is Stored in Healthy Trees
When the state of New Hampshire adopted more timber-based biomass energy, the forests saw a 4% increase in the amount of carbon trees were absorbing in 2012. Thus proving the benefits biomass has on forests.
And as these trees are harvested and new ones are planted, the benefits increase exponentially.
6. A Use For Woodscraps and Commercial Waste
While businesses try to use all of the wood they get, some of it is just not suitable for construction. Luckily, these companies can actually make a profit off of selling wood scraps to biomass companies.
This ensures that all of the waste from companies that work with wood doesn’t end up in a landfill.
Biomass Needs More Spotlight
Wind and solar are great, but they are not the only forms of energy we should be looking at. Biomass is accessible and offers the world many advantages including making forests more valuable to increase demand.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, some restaurants will recycle old cooking oils into biomass energy through on-site generators. You wouldn’t believe how many lights you can keep on thanks to fries.
Hopefully, these biomass energy facts convinced you that it really deserves more spotlight.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.