biomass energy

Image credit: Dept of Natural Resources Canada.

Bioenergy, also known as biomass energy, is any form of renewable energy that is derived from plant materials produced by photosynthesis.


Biomass fuels can come from wood, agricultural crops, and other organic residues such as municipal solid waste and landfills.


Bioenergy is regarded as "green" energy for several reasons. As long as we properly manage our biomass resources, such as our forests, biomass fuels are infinitely renewable. They have already proven to be economically stable sources of energy over time. Bioenergy is neutral in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. The burning of biomass fuels merely releases the carbon dioxide that the plants absorbed over their life spans. In contrast, the combustion of fossil fuels releases large quantities of long-stored carbon dioxide, which contribute directly to global warming. Moreover, bioenergy reduces climate change when it displaces fossil fuels.