Report suggests global biomass power to rocket over coming decade

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Report suggests global biomass power to rocket over coming decade

Biopower capacity looks set to rise significantly over the coming ten years, a suggestion that will alarm many global green groups who link growing demand for biomass to deforestation and increased emissions.

Research and consulting firm GlobalData's analysis predicts that biopower capacity around the world will increase by more than a third from its current 106GW to 165GW by 2025.

The steady upward trend is expected to come about as a result of advancements in technology and a compound yearly growth rate of 4.4 per cent over the next ten years has been predicted by the research. The main driver behind the growth rate will be the rise in global energy demand, the data firm suggested.

Analyst Anchal Agarwal, speaking on behalf of GlobalData said: "Environmental regulations for emissions reductions discourage the use of fossil fuels for power generation, meaning alternatives such as biopower or other renewable energy sources are required."

Government renewable energy mandates and other financial incentives including production tax credits would also help to boost the sector, Mr Agarwal continued.

The data also highlighted the boost biopower generation has received as a result of waste management practices including composting, with Mr Agarwal saying: "With proper financial support and government mandates in place, biopower installations have become a more viable option, and an appropriate solution to the issue of waste management."

In terms of location, the biopower sector is dominated by Europe and the US, with the UK's Drax biomass plant the leading plant across the globe.

Burning trees as a first use for electricity production when other more environmentally sound options exist is not a sensible use of this precious resource; it threatens valuable forests across the globe, releases harmful carbon into the atmosphere and distorts market economics. Using timber in more sustainable ways, such as in the production of goods for homes and industry, ensures that the embedded carbon is kept locked for decades.