Biomass is plant material either raw or processed and includes agricultural residues, wood waste, paper trash, municipal solid waste (MSW), energy crops and methane captured from landfill sites. Unlike fossil fuels, biomass is renewable in the sense that only a short period of time is needed to replace what is used as an energy source. This biomass can be used to generate electricity, heat or liquid fuels
- The energy source is renewable.
- It reduces the emissions of NOX and SOX in power generation.
- If waste is used, the cost of fuel can be close to zero and in some cases negative.
- The capital cost for building a biomass power plant is high.
- If dedicated fast growing corps are used it must compete with other agricultural activities for land. It can therefore be an expensive fuel.
- Fast growing crops needs substantial land area.
- Transport of fuel can be expensive, even if it is free. Proximity of the power plant to the fuel source is therefore an important consideration in terms of siting.