Thursday, August 22, 2013

UK plans to reduce biomass greenhouse gas emissions

Biomass still represents controversial clean energy option, because burning biomass creates harmful greenhouse gas emissions just like this is the case with fossil fuels like coal. There were even some reports claiming that burning biomass could do more harm to environment than burning coal.

In light of this controversy, British government wants to reduce emissions from biomass power plants. The statement from UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change says that biomass power plants will have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 72% below the average output of fossil fuel-fired plants by 2020 and 75% by 2025.

These new targets will apply to generators with a capacity of 1 megawatt or higher, and those who will not comply to these targets will lose government support. The UK government thinks that this will be a very important step towards the sustainable biomass production.

As already said above there are still some major controversies about biomass as environmentally friendly energy option.  While burning wood emits carbon dioxide, it is generally considered to result in lower emissions than those coming from fossil fuel fired power plants as new trees are planted to replace those used for biomass production.

This latest UK action is said to be prompted by the last year report that came from Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Royal Society, and in which biomass was characterized as dirties than coal mostly because of transportation, which also contributes in increase of greenhouse gas emissions associated with biomass.

Biomass is very important renewable energy source in United Kingdom, representing approximately one third of total UK renewable energy power.