Biomass – Renewable Energy From Plant Waste
The increasing scarcity and cost of conventional energy is leading to both generators and consumers searching for new sources of power supply. One such emerging area that fits the present desire for energy from renewable origins is biomass, namely the production of energy and electricity from plant waste, or in some cases plants grown biomass renewable energy specifically for energy provision. Not only does biomass have the benefit of being a renewable source of energy, it is favoured because it can be utilised by homeowners and small businesses as well as large companies and governments. Furthermore, it can be implemented relatively cheaply: the set up costs for certain types of biomass systems are a fraction of the cost of solar and wind energy systems.
One of the simplest biomass energy systems to set up is a biomass-fuelled boiler. Designed to provide hot water for one or more buildings, these boilers are fuelled by pellets of wood chips that are produced as a by-product of the construction and timber industries. Since they use materials that would otherwise be discarded, these systems are cost-effective and also contribute to the drive to ensure that whatever resources we consume are utilised as efficiently as possible, with waste kept to a minimum. With wood-fuelled electricity generators also available, homes and businesses with regular access to wood refuse can use biomass to provide a substantial amount of their energy needs.
Another way homeowners can utilise biomass is by maintenance of a worm farm. Although not actually producing any energy or electricity, worm farms are an excellent way to ensure that food waste is put to good use. Though there are a number of ways to configure a worm farm, the fundamental idea for each is the same: left-over food is placed in the container housing the worm farm and the worms inside consume it. The worm castings produced as a result of this process are excellent as a fertiliser, and can be used to augment the growth of fruit and vegetables. In this way what would have been discarded is transformed into freshly grown food, negating the need for this food to be grown elsewhere and saving the energy that would have been used to do so.