Back to Blogs

Biomass May Not Be the Best Renewable Energy Option for the UK

  • Publish Date: Posted over 7 years ago

A new report has shown that biomass is more costly to operate than solar and wind power in the UK and unlikely to be the best form of green energy going forward as a result. The findings were from the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC).

The survey investigated the full systemic costs of renewable energy such as solar and wind compared to biomass for replacing fossil fuels and achieving Britain's original targets for clean energy by 2020.

The survey findings suggest that policy-makers should reform the country's bio-energy strategy to ensure that only the cleanest and most cost-effective renewable energies are being used - with biomass currently failing on both counts.

The science showed that large-scale biomass conversion for electricity production raised levels of carbon production and was ultimately damaging to the environment, according to an NRDC advocate, Sasha Stashwick. She added that when total economic costs were factored in, cleaner energies such as solar and wind power were cheaper options for a UK without fossil fuels.

The research compared onshore and offshore wind, solar PV and biomass on an economic scale, factoring in new technology costs, carbon costs, the price of ensuring supply would remain reliable and so forth. With all of these factors incorporated, biomass had a economic cost that is greater than both solar and wind, and the costs of these latter technologies are continuing to fall.

With Britain decommissioning many of its ageing fossil fuel power stations over the next twenty years, it has a powerful opportunity to invest in wind and solar energy as true drivers of clean, affordable and renewable energy and help to move towards the prospect of a truly low-carbon sustainable economy in the future.