It's Good but Disadvantage Of Biomass Energy Must Also be Acknowledged

Of course disadvantage of biomass energy exists even though it has much to commend it- including the ease of making your own biofuel. But anyone is only ever the wiser by knowing both sides of the coin.

Just because they are called alternate energy sources does not make them squeaky clean.

By acknowledging the pros and cons of biomass energy we may avoid making them into holy cows - like we did with fossil fuels.

Disadvantage Of Biomass Energy - Small biomass energy plants may pollute and be expensive in generating energy. Sometimes big is better.

Disadvantage of biomass energy includes these

  • Greenhouse gases produced by burning
  • Extra costs of installing technology to process and recycle wastes
  • Expensive to collect, harvest and store raw materials
  • Large scale crop production will use vast areas of land and water, representing major problems
  • Lulling us into a false sense of hope

Disadvantages notwithstanding, biomass energy is here to stay as one component of renewable energy. You may wish to look now, or leave it till you finished reading this page, to check out this remarkable "ecologically-aware" eBay rival: A free to use auction site focused on alternative technology and sustainable living.

Disadvantage of biomass - Greenhouse gases produced by burning

Burning of biomass produces greenhouse gases. Exhaust gas cleaning technology must be applied to biomass energy plants to make them truly environmentally-friendly.

Disadvantage of biomass - Extra costs of installing technology to process and recycle wastes

Compared to fossil fuel as closer to ready-for-use products, biomass presents costs of processing it.

Compacting, chipping, shredding or cutting huge volumes of biomass is often necessary. For small biomass plants such cleaning technology may not be economically feasible.

Disadvantage of biomass - Expensive to collect, harvest and store raw materials

Collection, harvesting and storing raw biomass materials is expensive, especially considering the large volumes required compared to fossil fuels.

Disadvantage of biomass - Large scale crop production will use vast areas of land and water, representing major problems

As James Lovelock points out in his book The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity, biomass energy depends largely on grown crops.

These crops will take up huge tracts of land if biofuels are to replace fossil fuels to a significant extent. Land that might be deforested to clear it first.

This land is also needed for feeding the growing population of billions of people. The Earth, or Gaia, will be further disabled in its self-regulating processes by doing so. You can read more about all aspects of biofuels here: Biodiesel Power: The Passion, the People, and the Politics of the Next Renewable Fuel

Disadvantage of biomass - Lulling us into a false sense of hope

Biomass energy, or any renewable energy , will not be able to achieve a sustainable world. A sustainable world is one where commonly people will have developed a closeness to others and to their environments that I call practical love.

This closeness can only happen through better understanding life as inevitably limited, unpredictable, not always controllable and existing only by virtue of paradoxes. These paradoxes are cycles of drought and flood, cold and warm, high and low, night and day, and so on. Dependency and vulnerability are just as much part of a sustainable life as is a sense of (temporary) independence and invulnerability. That’s a whole life.

To live a whole life is to live a happy life. To learn the habits that form character and beliefs that are part of living like that you can use what’s right in front of your nose.

Your neighbour who is frail aged and needs a hand.

Your daughter or baby sister who needs assistance in her utter dependence to be “independent” enough one day to return the favour upon others.

Your colleague or friend who has a disability and is dependent on your attitudes to be able to work, live and play.

Your local degraded wetland that is crying out for a “Friends” group to help it survive and thrive.

So, there lots that you can do to turn disadvantage of biomass energy into the highly productive by product of a happy and sustainable world.