Biomass Energy

Biomass power is electricity generated from organic materials, usually sourced from the forestry and agriculture sectors. Plants convert energy from the sun into organic material. This energy is then released when the organic material is burned. This energy-rich material is a renewable resource because the plants harvested in the process can be replanted for use in the future.

Interesting Facts

  • In 2018, 637 TWh of electricity was generated from biomass globally
    Biomass can produce natural gases, such as methane, which can be used to power and heat homes
  • With 740MW capacity, the Ironbridge power plant located in the Severn Gorge, UK, is the world’s biggest biomass power plant
  • In 2020 the UK generated 26,845 gigawatts-per-hour (GWh) of electricity from plant biomass alone
  • In 2018, almost 40% of energy consumption from renewable and waste sources came from biomass


  • Modern developments in farming will lead to innovative and sustainable growing methods to grow biomass crops with an increased yield
  • By making traditional vehicles more fuel-efficient and increasing the use of hybrid vehicles, biofuels could potentially remove the need for petrol (hydrocarbons for fuel?)
  • Biomass does not produce any harmful mercury or sulphur emissions, meaning biomass energy reduces the volume of pollutants in the air
  • Any biological waste can be used as biomass energy, including human and animal waste
  • New developments in the use of algae as a biofuel mean that fuels can be produced up to 10 times quicker. The fermentation of algae can produce fuels such as methane, butanol, hydrogen and biofuels intended for use in vehicles
  • The raw fuel required for biomass energy is abundant and readily available across the world. Therefore, large pipelines between countries will not be required


  • The extraction of fuel from biomass can be expensive with the cost of storage, for example, particularly high
  • There can also be a requirement for large areas of free land for the growth and storage of the crops used in biomass energy
  • Biomass is not a completely clean form of renewable energy. Burning wood and other crops can produce harmful emissions which can pollute the local environment
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