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The Reliability of Renewable Energy: Biomass

December 4, 2015
By Jordan Lofthouse, Randy T Simmons, Ryan M. Yonk

Biomass can be a reliable energy source on small scales, but at the grid scale, it is costly, inefficient, and environmentally degrading.

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Biomass can be a reliable energy source on small scales, but at the grid scale, it is costly, inefficient, and environmentally degrading. Without government mandates and subsidies, the biomass industry would use organic waste as a supplement rather than the main source of electricity generation.

Grid-scale biomass electricity production can emit more pollutants than fossil fuels,  Although sustainable, grid-scale biomass emits more pollutants than fossil fuels, denudes forests, negatively affect water quality and species habitat. Power facilities that generate large amounts of electricity using woody biomass often rely on unsustainable logging practices.