What Is The Advantage Of Biomass Energy? There Are Several

Besides the advantage of biomass energy over fossil fuel as a renewable alternate energy source,it has a number of others too.

Yes, it has also, deservedly, had some bad press over its effects on rising food prices but this page is about advantages. Some advantages of this renewable energy are

  • *It is renewable
  • *Sources are commonly available
  • *Sources are locally produced
  • *Uses low-cost waste products
  • *Proven technology
  • *Biogases can be used in high-efficiency combined cycle plants
  • *Reducing greenhouse gases
  • *DIY biomass energy- it can be easy

Advantage of biomass energy - Sources are commonly available

Sources of biomass are many. Here are a few

Advantage of biomass energy – poultry manure in Thetford (UK) biomass plant. After being fed into the plant’s boiler it generates steam for a turbine-generator supplying 40 MW to local power grids.

  • wood
  • woodchips
  • paper
  • trash,
  • corn, maize
  • sugar cane
  • canola
  • sunflower
  • linseed
  • soy beans
  • grains
  • switchgrass
  • animal waste (slaughtering),
  • manure,
  • sewage
  • food scraps
  • hemp
  • wheat straw
  • vegetable oil
  • algae
  • silage
  • bagasse
  • whey
  • rice husks
  • and many more

Advantage of biomass energy – Thetford Power Station processing biomass, providing steam for a turbine generator, providing electricity for the local community.

Advantage Of Biomass Energy - Sources are locally produced

Any society that can produce a major proportion of its energy needs from locally produced, renewable sources will be a very different one to the present.

The fossil-fuel dependent global economy is beholden to producers in only a few countries. Inflation rates, currency values, interest rates, and therefore standards of living, are influenced now by the big price rises of crude oil.

Politically also, oil-producing countries have the world over a barrel!

Many of the biomass crops have to be produced by the agricultural sector and biomass energy production can involve by-products such as fertilisers, just like the petro-chemical industry now does. Farmers would produce the energy to drive their equipment and vehicles as well. Centrally held energy-based power could thus shift to local, domestic farmer groups with far greater control over their costs of production. The poor farming sector would thus be in control of energy food production.

Who knows what the full impacts of such important powershifts would be? Freedom from oil sheiks and effects of hurricanes? Energy might no longer underlie international conflicts.


Of course, future societies, built on alternate energy sources, will be more diversified. And any such scenarios depend on influences of the other side of the coin, the disadvantage of biomass energy. Advantage of biomass energy – It uses waste products

Apart from biomass energy derived from intentionally grown and harvested Crops, there are the products that might otherwise be left to rot. Now they can rot and keep us warm, light up our homes and drive our vehicles.

San Francisco residents for example are now looking at pressing a portion of the 10 million tonnes of American dog and cat faeces into humanity’s service – so to speak – to keep themselves warm and lit up. Landfill sites can produce significant amounts of methane gas from biodegradable waste and slaughterhouses and cattle yards or poultry farms can do the same with their waste.


What waste?

Advantage Of Biomass Energy Advantage Of Biomass Energy - Proven technology

Already in 1900 ethanol was competing with gasoline for vehicle fuel and before that wood was burned to produce steam power.

In 2002, USA biomass energy represented 9,733 megawatts of installed capacity, then the single largest source of non-hydro renewable electricity (US Dept of Energy).

Of this total 5,886MW represented forest and agricultural residues; 3,308MW from municipal waste; and 539MW other, such as landfill. More than 200 US companies provided biomass energy.

In other words, biomass energy is a proven industry with the technology to deliver power today.

Advantage Of Biomass Energy - Biogases can be used in high-efficiency combined cycle plants

Combined cycle plants use both gas and steam turbines to generate electricity at a high efficiency rate of 60%.

Advantage of biomass energy – Reducing greenhouse gases

When burning biomass mixed with coal in existing coal powerplants, several advantages of biomass energy combine.

It is an economic means of using biomass as no major modification to the coal plant is necessary and a new biomass energy plant does not need to be built. It is less costly than burning coal.

When compared with coal, biomass can reduce sulphur dioxide(SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other greenhouse gas significantly. Biomass conversion to electricity through co-firing achieves the same rate of efficiency as in a coal-powered plant.

Of course making a contribution towards reducing effects of global warming in this way and addressing the cause of global warming are among the greatest advantages of biomass energy.

Advantage of biomass energy - DIY biomass energy

Small biomass plants than the large can be set up for

Amazingly enough, it is relatively simple to produce your own biodiesel made from fats, grease or vegetable oil. In the USA it is mostly made from corn for commercial purposes. It is possible to use it in diesel vehicles without modifying them. It is renewable, emits greatly reduced greenhouse gases and is cheaper than petro-diesel.

Get all the detail in this comprehensive book on this subject:

Or drive your car on gasified biomass. It sure looks different - but it works.

Of course you enter into any DIY efforts at your own risk!

Now that you know a little about the advantage of biomass energy make sure you read about the disadvantage of biogas energy too before you start anything!

See you there!