Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Biomass as preferred renewable energy option?Not because of carbon-neutral label

Solar, hydro, wind, geothermal, biomass - these are all renewable energy sources. Every renewable energy source has its pros and cons but this time let us focus on biomass this time, and discuss whether or not  biomass should become one of the most preferred renewable energy options.

The main advantage that biomass has over all other renewable energy sources is that it is locally sources and sustainable source of renewable energy. That is something I completely agree upon.

The proponents of biomass industry often claim that biomass is carbon neutral. In a world where climate change and greenhouse gases have become talk on almost any political agenda being labeled as carbon-neutral would give biomass significant advantage over many other renewable energy sources. But is this really the case here?

I personally do not look at biomass as carbon-neutral no matter how you're looking at it. Is it better than sticking with coal and oil, generally speaking yes, but is it carbon neutral, no.

Why is that? Cutting trees and using them as source of energy we prevent these trees from sinking carbon dioxide in a process called carbon sequestration. To put it as simply as possible the less trees there are the less forests are able to sink CO2 from the atmosphere.

Some would say let us use dead trees. They will do the trick and biomass can be labeled as carbon-neutral. Sadly not, because science has showed that even deed trees contribute to carbon sequestration by adding organic matter to the soil.

Many scientists prefer other renewable energy options and claim that biomass harvesting contributes to CO2 rise in the atmosphere. Thus when discussing advantages of biomass we should avoid carbon-neutral labeling.