Sunday, December 16, 2012

Worldwide biomass production- Future outlook

Fossil fuels are still the primary sources of energy consumption in most countries of the world and this will likely remain the global energy picture for foreseeable future, even despite the strong surge within many of renewable energy industries.

 Biomass is certainly very interesting but also a very controversial alternative energy option. There is an ongoing discussion among proponents and opponents of biomass on several different question such as whether biomass is environmentally acceptable or not and whether fast growing biomass production would harm global food production or not. Nonetheless, despite these controversies, the use of biomass is constantly growing and will likely continue to do so in years to come.

According to recent Pike Research study called "Biopower Markets and Technologies" global biomass power capacity will reach minimum 86 GW globally by 2021 from 58 GW in 2011, which represents a staggering growth of almost 50 percent. This growth in biomass capacity will be accompanied by large investments; it is estimated that the total investment in the biomass sector between 2008 and 2021 will reach large sum of $104 billion.

This report also stated that with the more aggressive investment global biomass power capacity could grow to 115 GW by 2021. The estimates about the future growth in biomass sector are primarily based on the growing trade in biomass pellets which clearly indicates further growth in the next decade in the business as usual scenario.

Biomass is renewable energy source with excellent potential. According to the latest study that was conducted by UK scientists biomass could account for one fifth of global energy without doing damage to food production by making the best use of agricultural residues, energy crops and waste materials.

Of course, global biomass production still needs to be significantly improved from the sustainability perspective.