The skyrocketing price of fuels is posing a threat to the entire economy as well as the average consumer. In such situations, the use of Biomass energy can be a possible solution. Biomass is a biological or a natural material that can be used to produce energy. The sources of Biomass comprise a wide variety of materials such as dead trees, unused crops, forest and mill residues, animal wastes, aquatic plants and municipal and agricultural wastes.
When these materials are burned as fuel to produce energy, we get biomass energy. Other biomass materials such as ethanol, which is produced from corn and other leftover crops and biodiesel, which is produced from vegetable oils and animal fats can be used to create biomass energy that can even power transportation vehicles.
Today, biomass fuels are readily available. But biomass energy only accounts for about three per cent of energy used yearly in the United States. The main reason is the production cost of various bio energy fuels. The production cost does not match the production price of fossil fuels such as coal. This means the commercial production of Biomass is quite far-fetched at present. Hence there is an urgent need to cut down the production cost to make bio energy affordable. There should be an economic analysis of the commercialization of Biomass and concentration should be more on a wider commercial market. This will help to lower the production cost of biomass. According to Haq Z. in his book “Biomass for Electricity Generation” (2004) “By 2020, the United States is estimated to have a maximum of 7.1 quadrillion Btu of biomass available at prices of $5 per million Btu or lower.”
The society needs to be more open to the use of biomass as an energy resource. The trash that goes into our landfills can be readily used to produce Biomass. There will be no dependency on fossil fuels. This, in turn, will help the world economy as well as the environment.