Renewable Energy Sources
Antonia Cornejo Campos
English Practice I
Several countries have adopted ambitious plan to obtain their power from
renewable energy. They accelerating RE installations and integrating RE into their
existing infrastructure to reach a 100% RE mix. To many people, the most
familiar forms of renewable energy are the wind and the sun. But biomass (plant
material and animal waste) is the oldest source of renewable energy, used since our
ancestors learned the secret of fire.
Biomass is one of the most plentiful resources available globally, and demand for
it, is likely to increase substantially as the world looks to wean its dependence from
fossil fuels and on-going commitments to reducing greenhouse gases and
Biomass and its process
Biomass is the biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. It is
known as ‘natural material’. Biomass contains stored energy, in the form of chemical
energy - that’s because plants absorb energy from the sun through the process of
photosynthesis - as the plants died, the energy is trapped in the residue, so when biomass is
burned, this stored energy is released as heat.
In biomass, power plants, wood waste or other waste are burned to produce steam that
runs a turbine to make electricity, or that provides heat to industries and homes.
Fortunately, new technologies - including pollution controls and combustion engineering -
have advanced to the point that any emissions from burning biomass in industrial facilities
are generally less than emissions produced when using fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil).
• Forestry crops and residues.
• Agricultural crops and residues.
• Municipal solid waste.
• Animal residues.
• Industrial Residues.
Biomass Energy technology applications
Biofuels: Converting biomass into liquid fuels for transportation. The two most
common types of biofuels are ethanol and biodiesel.
Biopower: Burning biomass directly, or converting it into a gaseous fuel or oil,
to generate electricity. Types of biopower systems: direct-
fired,cofiring, gasification, anaerobic digestion, pyrolysis, and small
Bioproducts: Converting biomass into chemicals for making products that
typically are made from petroleum.
Biomass can be used to produce
a variety of biodegradable
Corn can be harvested to
Biomass is the largest source of renewable energy in Europe
Biomass alone accounts for 68.5 % of the renewable energy produced in EU-27, mainly in the
form of solid wood biomass for heating:
Advantages & Disadvantages
☺ It is a cheap and readily available source of energy.
☺ If replaced, biomass can be a long-term, sustainable energy source.
☺ Capable of being implemented at all levels of society.
☺ It can complement other renewables.
☻ Is only a renewable resource if crops are replanted.
☻ When burned, it gives off atmospheric pollutants.
☻ The use of wood and other plant material for fuel may mean deforestation.
☻ If not managed carefully, biomass can be harvested at unsustainable rates, damage ecosystems,
and consume large amounts of water.
Biomass energy resources are easily available in rural and urban areas of all
countries. Biomass-based industries can provide appreciable employment
opportunities and promote biomass re-growth through sustainable land
When compared with wind and solar energy, biomass plants are able to provide
crucial, reliable baseload generation. Biomass plants provide fuel diversity,
which protects communities from volatile fossil fuels. Biomass power
greatly reduces our dependence on foreign energy sources and increases
national energy security.
Every one of these power sources (with the exception of hydroelectric) has low environmental
costs, and combined have the potential to be important in avoiding a monumental crisis when
the fossil fuel crunch hits. These energy sources are often non-centralized, leading to greater
consumer control and involvement.
However, currently each of these energy forms is significantly more expensive than fossil fuels,
which will lead to economic dislocations and hardship if they become the only power source
for the future.
Biomass is an environmentally system very recommendable because it is a renewable, clean,
ecological, and at the same time is a fuel much cheaper than the natural gas, butane, propane or
diesel. Biomass helps to decrease volume of garbage and waste, since subsequent use is used
for energy production.