Bioenergy is a renewable and sustainable energy and it’s a rapidly growing market. Whilst government policies promote low carbon energy and waste recycling, ambitious targets to increase the security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions have been set for all European Union member states.
For example the UK is committed to achieving 15% of renewable energy by 2020 and a reduction in CO2 levels of 34% by 2020. Many regions have set themselves more aggressive targets. In Birmingham, UK, for instance the city council is committed to a 60% reduction of CO2 by 2026
Bioenergy has a key role to play in meeting UK and EU targets.
1. Bioenergy is renewable and sustainable energy made from biological materials. These materials include:
- Plants such as corn, soya and sunflower (known as biocrops)
- Wood chippings (i.e. wood waste)
- Rice husks
- Commercial, municipal and industrial waste
- Manure and sewage.
2. Biological materials are referred to as biomass. Sometimes they are called biofuels but this term is more often used to describe liquid bioenergy fuels, such as biodiesel.
3. Bioenergy accounts for the majority of renewable energy produced globally.
4. There are some negative issues associated with growing biocrops for bioenergy which can be alleviated by using waste materials.
5. EBRI focuses on producing bioenergy from waste and residues. The production of bioenergy from waste is a well-established technology. The main process involved in turning waste into bioenergy is called pyrolysis.
- Reduces greenhouse gases
- Provides an outlet for waste recycling
- Reduces waste management costs
- Reduces landfill
- A truly green energy
- Reduces CO2 emissions
- Increases reliance on renewable energy
- A form of low carbon energy
- Bioenergy power stations do not require large buildings so can be built near/on housing or industrial estates and in city centres.