Biomass energy has in recent years, due to its economic and environmental implications. As a renewable source of energy, biomass energy cannot be easily depleted.
By definition, biomass energy is the utilization of organic matter using appropriate mechanical structures to produce energy. It is doubtless that biomass energy has advantages and disadvantages, which have to be considered when selecting a source of energy. This paper discusses the merits and demerits of biomass energy.
Advantages of Biomass energy
Biomass is widely known as a renewable source of energy, which is utilized in the production of electricity and other types of energy in most parts of the world. Biomass feedstock mainly comprises of organic matter that can be renewed for energy conversion. Commonly used include animal waste, agricultural crops and industrial wood.
In discussing the benefits of biomass energy, it is important to note that it is renewable, i.e. its source cannot get depleted (ACRE 2008). In addition, this form of energy is safe and does not pose severe environmental pollution. This is because of minimal amount of carbon compounds that are emitted when used as compared to fossil fuels.
Additionally, it reduces the concentration of methane in the atmosphere, a compound that is responsible for the greenhouse effect. Importantly, it is cost-effective since the materials used are locally available. This reduces the expenditure of importing oil and petroleum products. Its production and consumption equally provides job opportunities in homes since manpower is needed (ACRE 2008).
Disadvantages of Biomass energy
Despite the fact that biomass energy is safe and renewable, it also has an array of disadvantages. The first disadvantage is the addition of dangerous gases into the air during combustion of matter. Common biomass emissions include carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.
These emissions contribute to global warming. Due to the fact that of crops and residues, there is demand for land, which can be used to raise these crops (). This land could be utilized for food crop production to feed families with . Additionally, the technology employed in biomass production is relatively new and unpopular.
As a result, the cost of installing and maintaining the infrastructure is a major challenge. Furthermore, the cost of the technology limits its usage among low-class families. Biomass energy has limited potential in terms of its efficiency and capability. For instance, the energy might not be used to run heavy industrial processes, which are effectively supported by other forms of energy.
It is worth noting that efficient production and utilization of biomass energy requires scientific research to ascertain possible hurdles. Although the energy is from a renewable source, most of the crops are seasonal. This may hinder its continuous production ().