While we are striving hard to switch to more sustainable modes of living, there arise lots of issues questioning the efficiency of our choice of green. Despite all the issues they might have, they have more benefits than their petroleum counterpart. After all, petroleum is not going be here forever. So, this post will focus on the benefits of biomass based power, and why is it more suited as a sustainable alternative.
Let us look at the distributed generation, because biomass is available in almost all places, and especially in rural areas, and more important, as gasification based power production can be done on small scales (as low as 20 kW), this process can be used for distributed generation of power as against the centralized power production method followed today. Also, biomass based power is well suited to remote villages with no access to grid but access to significant amounts of biomass
Secondly, biomass gasification based power production can be done at small scales – as small as 20 kW – unlike other sources of power (say, nuclear) that require much larger scales. This will ideally suit small villages that have only a few households. Also, this whole process could be done in rural areas, where this could open a gateway of opportunities for rural population. Given that a 1 MW biomass based power generation could require biomass growth in over 150 hectares, the opportunities for rural employment are indeed significant.
Thirdly, biomass power results in no new net GHG emissions as it is part of the carbon cycle. Unlike coal and others forms of fossil fuel which have been buried millions of years ago and burning them adds to carbon in the atmosphere, responsible biomass energy generation results in no new carbon emissions or pollution.
Finally, the efficiency of the biomass power generation process to make use of mostly animal and crop wastes for energy is remarkable. Also, there is a large variety of feedstock which could be used for the process. Aside from these, they also significantly reduce methane in the atmosphere, which being able to be produced economically. I suppose these are enough reasons to switch to biomass power.