Biomass Energy Pros and Cons List

Biomass energy from plants and animals is one of the many alternative sources of energy set to replace fossil fuels which man heavily relies on for energy. One of the most appealing aspects of biomass is that it is a renewable source of energy, and while fossil fuel deposits are finite, biomass is widely available as well as being environmentally friendly. Biomass has numerous uses like directly generating heat or electricity with steam turbines. Biomass can also be used to make biodiesel, methane gas and other bio-fuels. To understand more about biomass, let’s delve into the pros and cons.

List of Pros of Biomass Energy

1. Renewable
Biomass will always be available from sources such as garbage, crops and manure. As you convert this year’s crop or manure know that you are also growing fuel for the following years. Renewing ideally takes the same amount of time as growing or gathering it, and it can be as short as just a couple of months.

2. Carbon Neutral
This is probably one of the biggest pros of biomass energy. Biomass forms part of the carbon cycle. Atmospheric carbon is absorbed by plants when they photosynthesize and when they decay or get burnt that carbon returns to the atmosphere. Since it’s a cycle, consequent plants absorb the carbon over again to ensure that there’s a balance between the amount of carbon from biomass released into the atmosphere and that absorbed from it. This explains why biomass doesn’t contribute to greenhouse gases. Biomass energy is clean.

3. Cost-effective
Energy generated from biomass is cheaper than oil and coal. Typically it costs a third less than most fossil fuels that serve the same purpose. This means that spending a third less each year will contribute substantially to your savings.

4. Abundant
Biomass is widely available, and in large quantities world over. Therefore it’s not necessary to construct large pipelines across borders and oceans to move it—another cost saving measure.

List of Cons of Biomass Energy

1. Expensive
The process of extracting biomass can be very expensive. In many areas, developers discover that biomass projects are not worth the cost and therefore never complete. The same also applies for the harvesting and storage of different kinds of biomass.

2. Requires Plenty of Space
At a time when space is increasingly becoming priceless and expensive, biomass processes don’t seem to take notice. Large areas are required for the different processes involved in harvesting energy generated from biomass. Storage also needs can also be large.