What is Biomass Energy?

Biomass Boilers for Renewable Energy

Biomass Energy

Why Use Biomass Energy?

Biomass is a fancy name for material from plants and animals. Some kinds of biomass can be burned to produce energy (Biomass Energy). The most common examples of Biomass is wood / forests and increasingly “Energy Crops”.

Through out history our homes have been heated with fire, fuelled by wood, all over the world – so one could say Biomass Energy is not really a new concept.

Biomass is a renewable, low carbon fuel and brings additional environmental and social benefits. Biomass boilers do not only power central heating systems but also provide hot water and can operate on a timer, which dispenses fuel into the burner when required. Plus best off all, as explained in my previous blog about RHI, the government offers a grant that pays for the system, installation and pays an incentive for using it while saving on heating bills and help the environment. Can it get any better?

You may ask yourself what kind of materials does my biomass boiler need? Biomass boilers will burn a whole variety of bio-matter such as grains, wood chips, olive kernels, saw dust, wood logs, cocoa pellets and wood pellets. The main categories of material are:

* Forests: from trees, arboricultural activities or from wood processing.
* Energy crops: high yield crops grown specifically for energy applications
* Agricultural residues: residues from agriculture harvesting or processing
* Food and Industrial waste: from food and drink manufacture, preparation and processing, and post-consumer waste

The advantages to use Biomass are endless.

We do not need to worry about being short of materials as with a constant supply of waste – from construction and demolition activities, to wood not used in papermaking, to municipal solid waste – green energy production can continue indefinitely.
Biomass power improves forest health and air quality. The biomass power industry removes millions of tons of forest debris annually, improving forest health and dramatically reducing the risk of forest fires. In addition, the biomass industry diverts millions of tons of waste material from landfills and open burns.

Biomass power is reliable. Because it is not affected by changes in weather or environmental conditions, biomass power is an extremely reliable renewable energy source. Biomass Power Plants can produce a steady and dependable flow of electricity 24 hours a day, and seven days a week.

Biomass power employs a huge amount of people worldwide

Biomass is the natural solution to meeting higher renewable standards. Specifically, biomass power can play a major role in parts of the UK that lack sustainable access to wind or solar power. Biomass power holds the greatest opportunity for achieving a strong national standard for renewable electricity.

What is the difference between biomass and fossil fuels?

In simple terms – we are talking time-scale

Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing, and returns it as it is burned. Biomass energy crops are managed on a sustainable basis and maintain a closed carbon cycle with no net increase in atmospheric CO2 levels

In the case of Energy Crops, Biomass is harvested as part of a constantly replenished crop. This is either during woodland management or as part of a continuous programme of replanting with the new growth taking up CO2 from the atmosphere at the same time as it is released by combustion of the previous harvest.

For your Free No Obligation Quote for a Biomass Boiler fueled by either Logs, Wood Pellets or Wood Chips Click Here or Phone 01225 580401

Trade Inquiries should visit: Renewable-Living.com

Wood Pellet Supplies

There are a growing number of wood pellet suppliers in the UK.

Cotswold Ecofuels supply a variety of wood heating products including wood pellets from Verdo Renewables.

Based north of Bristol they can deliver pellets in small quantities and will help the customer personally as all their deliveries are made by them rather than third party carriers.

For more information please visit Cotswold Ecofuels

Renewable Heat Incentive Update

RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) UPDATE – 26 OCTOBER 2011

DECC was planning to launch the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for non-domestic generators on 30 September 2011. State aid approval is a necessary condition for the scheme to go ahead. As part of that process, the European Commission expressed concerns that the large biomass tariff was set too high.

The Commission has now given State Aid approval to the RHI subject to the large biomass tariff being reduced from 2.7p per KWh to 1p per KWh. Revised regulations have now been re-laid in Parliament to reflect the required amendment to the tariff for large scale biomass. We hope to open the scheme to applications by the end of November 2011, subject to Parliamentary approval.


Please note that the tariff reduction is only for “large biomass”. This is for installations above 1000 kW’s which may heat 50 or more houses e.g. a small village and larger e.g. Biomass power station

Renewable Heating, Carbon Reduction and Wood Pellets

Renewable Heating – Wood Pellets have a carbon emission figure of 0.04 kg per kWh. This helps an organisation calculate carbon savings against oil or gas.

A home can work out how much carbon they are saving and understand why the Renewable Heat Incentive has been developed.

This compares against other technologies:

Heat pump with a COP ratio (see previous article) of 6:1 then the carbon emissions would be 0.53/6 = 0.09kg per kWh.

Heat pump with a COP ratio of 3:1 then the carbon emissions would be 0.53/3 = 0.18kg per kWh.

Oil is 0.265kg per kWh
Gas is 0.194 per kWh

If you are currently on Oil heating and use 20,000 kWhs of heat per year (average house) by converting to wood pellets you would save:

(0.265-0.04) kg per kWh ie 0.225kg per kWh

There are 20,000 kWhs in this example so a carbon saving of 4500 kgs per annum.