Biomass is a generic term for any organic material that can be used to produce heat, electricity or transport fuel.
The original energy source is from the sun (solar), which creates organic matter through a proces called photosynthesis.
There are four basic groups of biomass material:
woody energy crops such as short rotation forestry and perennial crops like coppiced willow and miscanthus (also known as elephant grass
other energy crops such as oilseed rape, sugar beet, wheat and maize
agricultural residues such as cereal straw, manures and forest thinnings
wastes such as landfill gas, municipal solid waste, waste wood, poultry litter, abattoir waste and waste vegetable oils.
We support biomass as a renewable source of energy that combats climate change and can also contribute to other policy objectives, such as energy security. However, there are two key challenges:
1. Biomass energy should be developed in a way that provides the greatest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions possible at an acceptable financial cost.
2. Biomass should be produced sustainably in order that negative environmental impacts, such as on soils, groundwater, air quality, forests and water resources, are reduced as far as possible.
Reports and events
Generating energy from biomass
Electricity generation from palm oil
Sustainability criteria for solid biomass