Is Biomass A Friend Or Foe Of The Environment?

By Jamie Hailstone
Forbes Magazine
March 23, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

When it comes to issues around sustainability and energy, there are few subjects less controversial than biomass. Often hailed as a lower carbon option for heating or generating electricity, biomass involves the burning of wood pellets, chips or logs. Its proponents argue that biomass has a key role to play in the road to net zero, using wood that is unsuitable for other products and would otherwise go to waste. But critics have pointed out that biomass still involves burning natural materials, which can pollute the atmosphere. The campaigning group Cut Carbon Not Forest recently published a new survey, which shows 73% of respondents are concerned that burning trees in power stations could be making air pollution worse and harming people’s health. …Despite such criticisms, a survey undertaken for the U.K. government last year found almost three quarters (72%) of respondents supported the use of biomass.

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