RENEWABLE & ALTERNATIVE
Biomass can be an alternative solution if other renewable energy sources are not available or exploitable economically. We can generate heat or electricity via combustion from plants primarily (agricultural waste), as well as use secondary or tertiary sources (e.g., animals, urban waste, biological waste of industry). Although biomass is not the greenest energy source, with careful planning and logistics it has low risks which makes biomass
Biomass utilization can be applied by households as well as bigger public-private buildings in urban areas. Depending on the capacity of the installed system, it can even supply energy for district heating systems reducing energy dependency and energy costs significantly. However, it is always important to check if the biomass was produced in a sustainable way.
Boilers usually use processed organic materials which are chopped, sliced, or pressed. Biomass should be stored in dry, protected spaces. In addition, we also have to take into account the physical location of the biomass as shipping wood/pellet from great distances can have big ecological footprint and greenhouse gas emission depending on the mode of transport.
The investment cost of a boiler/heating system depends on its capacity. The recovery time, which is relatively short, is approximately 5-10 years in case of independent buildings. The installation is simple, the boilers can be operated and moved easily. The technology is recommended if big amount of green waste is available locally, e.g., from urban green areas. The share of biomass in the EU’s energy mix is significant but has started to become a less preferred solution which can result in limiting the use of primary biomass.