BIOMASS ENERGY: INTRO
Biomass* contributes significantly to the world’s energy supply: it accounts for 9–13% of the world’s energy supply (45 exajoules/year**)
- Its largest contribution to energy consumption is found in developing countries: on average between 1/3 and 1/5.
- Modern use of biomass, to produce electricity, steam, and biofuels, is estimated at 7 EJ/year;
- traditional biomass*** use accounts for 38 EJ/year.
1) Biomass is a rather simple term for all organic material that stems from plants (including algae), trees, and crops. Biomass sources are therefore diverse, including organic waste streams, agricultural and forestry residues, as well as crops grown to produce heat, fuels, and electricity (energy plantations).
2) An EJ, or exajoule, is one billion joules, equal to the energy content of about 24 million tonnes of oil.
3) The term ‘traditional biomass’ (also ‘traditional bio-fuels’) is usually used to denote locally collected and unprocessed biomass-based fuels, such as crop residues, wood, and animal dung. They are mostly used in developing countries.