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

Get in touch

AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

Scottish Enterprise