Non-renewable sources of energy are causing more harm to the earth, and a lot of research is being undertaken to find the best alternative.
Solar energy, wind energy, and hydroelectric energy are hitting the headlines across the world since they produce one of the cleanest power for use both in industries and households.
Biomass energy production is under gradual growth, and it is also considered as renewable energy sources that are also the best alternative for fossil fuels.
The biomass energy advantages and disadvantages have raised eyebrows why it hasn’t been adopted to replace fossil fuels though there is still a lot of research being undertaken.
In this post, you will get to learn some of the top advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy in a simplified form. Let’s jump in to discover the pros and cons of biomass energy.
Advantages of Biomass Energy
Biomass energy is an ancient form of power, and it developed before people started to know anything about renewable energy sources.
Let’s cut it short by letting you discover some of the significant pros of biomass energy sources. They include:
The organic materials used to develop biomass energy is never-ending, and this is the reason why it is considered renewable. Some of the conventional natural materials used include manure, nutshell, garbage, and crop waste and sewage sludge.
- Abundant Availability
The rate of production and consumption is high due to the increase in the rate of population growth. The feature has led to the increase in plant and animal waste making biomass energy sources to be readily available in abundance.
- Waste Management
Many countries are finding it difficult to manage waste, but the use of biomass materials will help to reduce waste disposal in a country.
An increase in the number of wastes in the dumping sites can be reduced by increasing the number of waste plants. Hence biomass energy source is also said to be having a positive impact on the environment.
- Emission of Carbon Reduced
The emission of carbon into the atmosphere causes global warming. Production of energy from biomass help to neutralize carbon into the atmosphere.
Research shows that plants need carbon for photosynthesis. The biomass energy plant releases carbon back again into the atmosphere. It is later absorbed back by plants minimizing the amount in the atmosphere.
- Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels
The energy from the biomass materials can be converted into fuel and electricity. Technology helps to reduce dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
- Relatively Cheap
The use of biomass energy is quite cheaper compared to coal and oil. It tends to cost many ways cheaper, and this is the reason why it is considered as the best alternative source of energy.
- Domestic Production
Biomass energy can be produced domestically hence no need for the importation of oil. The materials for biomass occur naturally in abundance, and they are readily available.
- Multiple Purposes
Biomass energy can be used to make numerous products aside from energy sources. The organic materials can be used to develop ethanol, plastics, medicines and other bioproducts.
- Sources of Employment
Biomass energy plants in the country can be a great source of job opportunities for unemployed people. An increase in the development of biomass plants will also help to reduce unemployment issues.
- Increase in Revenue Sources for Manufacturers
The biomass plants enable produced of garbage to channel the wastes into a profitable way. Therefore, biomass plants allow manufacturing companies to earn more revenue in the long run.
Read More: Pros and Cons of Fossil Fuel
Disadvantages of Biomass Energy
What are some disadvantages of biomass? Well, this is a new twist that is also quite important to understand. Here is the thing:
Biomass energy is quite cheap, but the process of transforming waste into useful products is quite expensive. Biomass materials require the employment of more workers for planting and harvesting which increases overhead costs.
- Harmful to the Environment
Biomass materials come from animal and plant waste. This waste releases methane gases when burning which is detrimental to the environment. The gas also contributes to the greenhouse effect.
- Require Large Space
Installation of biomass energy plant requires a lot of space for harnessing and also storing energy. It is the reason why it cannot be possible to be found in companies producing a lot of wastes.
- Inefficient Energy Sources
Biomass energy is natural but the efficiency is low compared to fossil fuel. A lot of people are using biofuel in combination with fossil fuel to increase its capabilities.
- Require Adequate Water
Biomass energy plants require a sufficient amount of water to produce energy sources. In case the plant is located in an area where there is less amount of water then it will not work well.
- Risk of Deforestation
Biomass energy is regarded as renewable energy sources, but they need to be sustainable. The development of biomass plants all over the country can result in deforestation.
They can also result in the permanent destruction of natural habitat for birds, wildlife, and bats. The government has come up with strict rules for forest conservation.
- Under Development
There is little that has been done in biomass technology. It is the reason behind it is still underdeveloped in most countries across the world.
- Energy is not Entirely Clean
Biomass energy is said to be carbon neutral fuel, but it is not that clean. Burning wastes release some amount of carbon into the atmosphere which contributes to global warming and air pollution.
Read More: Pros and Cons of Natural Gas
Biomass energy sources still have the potential to grow. The development requires substantial investment in technology. The technology will foster the production of more clean energy that is quite effective.
The advantages and disadvantages of biomass energy listed above give a clue of the renewable energy source. The pros and cons of biomass energy can be a contradiction if you dwell much on them.
Since technology is dynamic, biomass energy production has a lot of future in the coming years. New ways of energy production are going to be introduced and make it efficient.
There is still a divided opinion about biomass energy, but I would say they are much cheaper when compared to fossil fuels. They also help to reduce electricity bills.