Although biomass is currently being classified as a renewable energy source, it accounts for some 3% (three per cent) of total global methane emissions (with methane being a powerful greenhouse gas and anthropogenic methane emissions being known for causing Earth´s climate to warm). According to Vattenfall, one of the largest European retailers for electricty and fully owned (100%) by the Swedish state, biomass is at this time the largest single renewable energy source in the European Union.
Biomass and waste currently account for 2/3 (two-thirds) of renewable energy production worldwide, stated by Vattenfall. The state of Sweden has learned how to utilize waste to such an extent that it today is obliged to IMPORT waste in order to keep up with its (biomass) energy production. What a genius idea to turn waste into energy! Of course, the most optimal solution would be not to create any waste at all, but at the current state of the world, many countries are facing problems with for instance recycling, not to mention how these countries manage waste. Why destroy the environment and our soils by dumping all kinds of waste to landfills without any recycling, when there are much better options, such as biomass production and recycling available?
These are not only questions of environmental or human well-being, but also important issues concerning recycling, waste management, human health, animal health, planetary health, and the creation of sustainable business models and lucrative income for societies around the globe. Of course, biomass can not be created from any kind of waste. Today, biomass is being created and used mainly in countries focused on forest industries, and agriculture, whereby waste from these can be utilized to produce biomass energy from (renewable) sources.
Although biomass is today regarded to be a renewable energy source, and definitely more environmentally friendly than for instance coal, gas and oil production, the production of biomass involves both agriculture and forestry. If other renewable source of energy are at hand, there should be no need to excessively cut down forests or grow crops in order to produce biomass, if and when there are more environmentally friendly options available.
It is estimated that the demand for biomass will at least double in the upcoming decades, with scenarios up to 2050. According to the World Energy Council´s report World Energy Resources – Bioenergy | 2016, bioenergy currently accounts for 10% of total global energy supply, with biofuels being a sustainable option in the replacement of oil dependency. Moreover, with growing concerns for environmental well-being even in terms of biomass production, bioenergy is framed by sustainability standards such as ISO, only to mention one of many. The World Energy Council states that the use of waste and residues as raw material to produce bioenergy is most optimal.
Following video, “What is Biomass”, published by FairEnergy, briefly explains what biomass (production) is:
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