Find out about all the biomass energy pros and cons.
There are plenty of biomass energy pros and cons but most people interested in biomass energy are interested in the renewable and green aspects of it. There are some other things one should consider before going strictly, or supplementing, one’s energy needs with a biomass system.
First, what exactly is biomass energy?
It can be many different things, but typically it’s pretty much regarded as any living, or something that was living not too long ago, that has energy or the potential to release energy. Most energy systems of this nature can be simplified with an example.
If you have ever started a camp fire, you’ve successfully started a small scale biomass energy system. Wood is alive, or at least most wood that’s used for burning was alive at one point. Essentially, the “fuel” was grown, stored, and finally burnt. The burning process released the energy that was stored in the wood in the form of heat and light, which was captured by you while you were making food, staying warm, or just enjoying the night. Fun right? So there are lots of different systems, and you can learn a bit more about biomass energy here. Biomass energy pros and cons are listed below.
- It’s renewable. This is probably the biggest pro. It can be a very green energy in this sense. Just think, you could grow the fuel or petrol you put in your car. If that doesn’t make recycling cool, nothing will.
- It’s reliable. With non-renewable resources, like oil and gas, the reliability is determined by supply levels that will not replenish themselves. If you’re able to grow fuel and produce energy from it, the reliability is only dependent upon how much can be grown. Obviously things like weather and other phenomena can impact the reliability, supply, as well as demand.
- It’s relatively cheap. Depending on what kind of system is in place, energy demands can be met at a lower cost than many other methods.
- It’s really simple. Though it may take quite some time to grow trees, corn, or whatever else would be grown to produce energy, the process is pretty darn simple.
- It many not be as green as you think. What do you mean, it’s not green energy? Oddly, with biomass energy pros and cons, one pro is that it’s renewable, and a con is that it’s not totally green. Pretty simply, the burning process can be pretty dirty. There are many critics, experts, and others that debate the “clean aspect”. We can get into some pretty technical terms with lots of chemistry and such but it’s pretty much agreed upon that it’s not the absolute cleanest from of renewable energy sources. That doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for use, as a majority of major energy sources today are non-renewable, and just as dirty or dirtier.
- It may not be scalable. What this means is simple. Small scale uses, like heating a home with a wood burning oven, may be practical. However, if the entire planet is trying to go green in this way alone, wood supplies would plummet, demand would soar, and so would prices.
If the biomass energy pros and cons gets you thinking more about going green, that’s great. It’s probably an easy way to be a little greener.
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