Due to increase in population on earth, natural resources like coal and crude oil are getting scarce and that has resulted in high energy cost. Electricity, gas and petrol being the major fuel used for several appliances; their availability in future is in question.
This urgency has led to many researches on few other resources that can be extracted or converted to be used for energy.
Biomass is one such energy that is being used as a fuel and extracted from organic resources such as wood, seaweed and dung. While few believe that Biomass is a good source of energy and has cut down costs of electricity and gas others also believes that it has some disadvantages when put into use.
Pros or advantages of using Biomass energy are:
- The waste products that will be useless otherwise can be used for generating biomass energy and that reduces the cost of fuel.
- Biomass is very abundant and can be found everywhere on earth in the form of wood, dung or seaweed.
- Biomass can easily be used to create biofuels, gas, alcohol and electricity.
- Biomass is very low in sulphur reducing the production of acid rain.
- As long as we plant equal number of trees that we use in the production of biofuels, biomass energy produces no net CO2 increase.
- Use of biomass decreses the use of fossil fuels and hence helps in reducing CO2 emmissions.
- Use of biomass energy results in reduction of methane release in atmosphere. Decomposition of organic matter in nature releases methane. Capturing this methane yields energy while protecting the atmosphere.
- If maintained and planned well from environment point of view then this is a very vast resource available.
The cons or disadvantages of using Biomass energy are:
- Even though considered as safe for environment in comparison to other energies; it is still unsafe and pollutes the atmosphere.
- The resource used for the biomass energy is organic resource such as wood and so to increase the fuel production and decrease cost, mankind will keep on destroying forests and cutting trees.
- Some fossil fuel maybe used in production of biofuel and its transportation. This fossil fuel consumption may offset or even eliminate any carbon advantage in some cases.
- Installation of biomass plant requires a lot of space. We may not have sufficient space to set up biomass plants.
As you’ve seen there are several pros and cons of biomass energy which make it an energy resource that needs to be used with care. Prudent forest management and cost analysis of every project will ensure that we can use this energy in a benificial way. It will however never completely provide our energy needs, but it certainly is a good addition to our energy mix.