What is biomass?
Many of us still use solid fuel for heating and cooking, whether it is by preference or out of necessity, but with an increasing need to go green, coal and even wood that is chopped or produced for purpose are simply no longer desirable options, and that is where biomass comes in.
Biomass refers to any biological matter that can be burned to provide energy. Biomass usually amounts to pellets made from waste lumber, forest debris, and some waste parts of crops. That is all great, but why should you care?
Why bother with biomass?
Biomass is made up of waste products, which means that you are contributing to the greening of the economy. Instead of these products being put in a landfill or left to rot, they can be put to good use heating your home instead of purpose-produced pellets or coal.
A wonderful side effect to this is the low price. According to the Centre for Alternative Technology, wood chip biomass fuel can cost less than half the price of pellets, coming in at 2p per kilowatt hour, or kWh, compared to pellets at 4p per kWh. The savings are even more stark when you compare it to other fuels, with heating oil costing 6p per kWh, LPG being 8p per kWh, and even mains gas tending to cost 4p per kWh.
Regardless of which fuel you are currently using, you could cut your heating bill in half or better whilst reducing your environmental impact. What’s not to like?
What about the up-front cost?
There are a variety of Defra approved multi fuel wood burning stoves on the market that can take whatever solid fuel you currently use and allow you to switch to biomass at your convenience. One example for heating only would be http://www.stoveworlduk.co.uk/DEFRA-approved-Multi-Fuel-Woodburning-Stove-5kw, but there are many options available, including cookers.
If you already use solid fuel for your heating, the only cost to you will be buying a multi fuel stove. If you are currently using a liquid fuel for heating, this could be more complicated and expensive, but it is possible to simply switch in a solid fuel boiler or pick from a wide variety of other Defra approved multi fuel wood burning stoves.
If you want to get energy in a green way that is kind to your pocketbook, biomass is worth considering.