Facts about biomass energy.
Biomass is a renewable energy source, and can be anything from energy crops to agricultural or forestry residues and waste. It is currently the largest form of renewable energy in Europe.
Biomass has been used as fuel for tens of thousands of years. Development of biomass applications has made great strides in recent decades. There are now a variety of methods for converting biomass into heat and electricity, from pellets for household heating to agricultural waste used to produce electricity in commercial power plants.
Bioenergy expected to make up more than half of EU renewable energy in 2020
Bioenergy is currently the largest form of renewable energy in the EU and is expected to keep its dominant position in the realisation of the EU 2020 targets. This is largely caused by the dominant role of biomass in heat and transport. While alternative renewable energy options exist for electricity production, transport and heating depend largely on biomass.
Four per cent of EU electricity generation
Biomass and waste provided around four per cent of the EU’s electricity generation in 2010. Biomass is used primarily in countries with extensive forest industries, where residues such as branches, wood chips and sawdust can be used to produce electricity and heat. Countries with large agricultural industries and industries that produce waste products that can be used as biofuels also have potential to increase their use of biomass.
Dramatic increase expected
The number of power plants in Europe that run solely on biomass is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years. In addition, it is used along with coal in many hard coal-fired power plants.
Sustainable biomass makes important contribution to CO2reduction
Biomass can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. To ensure biomass for energy leads to meaningful CO2 reduction, cultivation and production must be carried out in a controlled, sustainable manner. Vattenfall continuously improves the checks and balances it has in place to ensure the biomass we use is sustainable. Vattenfall is a member of the Sustainable Biomass Partnership.