Why choose Biomass Energy?

Biomass energy

Your renewable heat supply

Commercial energy rates are set to double in the next five years. A biomass energy system offers a reliable low-cost alternative heat source.

What is biomass energy?

Biomass energy is the term given to the different fuel types that can be burned in a biomass boiler. Most people are familiar with wood burning stoves; a biomass energy boiler is very similar but it can burn a variety of fuels in addition wood. These may include woodchip, pellets, briquettes, crop residue and industrial waste like paper pulp or wood off-cuts.

What are the savings?

Biomass fuel costs roughly 40% less than heating oil or LPG but even if you are currently using a gas supply, biomass energy may be a worthwhile investment because of the additional revenue earned via the RHI subsidy. A biomass boiler will typically generate 30% ROI and often has a shorter payback period than solar PV of 4-6 years.

The RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive) is guaranteed for 20 years and the rates are RPI linked. This means a biomass energy system will generate revenue as well as savings.

For example, a 100kWp biomass boiler costing £50,000 could earn £13,573 of savings and revenue in the first year alone. By year 20 the total savings and revenue would have reached £329,895. The system becomes cash positive from year 4 so the payback period is very quick.

New sustainability requirements for biomass energy systems

As of Spring 2015 you will need to demonstrate that your biomass fuel meets certain sustainability standards described in the ‘land criteria’ requirements, including a lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions target.

Biomass Energy FAQ’s

Biomass boilers are easy to install and can be connected to an existing heating system. Once a biomass system is up and running it can be controlled in much the same way that a gas boiler is controlled and settings can be automatically adjusted remotely using smart phones and tablet devices. The typical plant area of an install up to 100kW in size is 3500mm x 3500m

Biomass boilers are low-maintenance and some are self-cleaning.

Biomass fuel is considered a renewable energy source because the plant material used can be replaced through re-growth. The carbon dioxide that is emitted from burning the harvested biomass can then be absorbed by the new plant growth. Of course this is a highly over-simplified concept of the Earth’s complex natural systems, which is why it is important to focus on how we can make biomass systems as sustainable as possible. Interestingly, burning biomass can often release more carbon dioxide than burning the equivalent in coal, oil or gas. The important difference is that fossil fuels like coal contain carbon that was sequestered thousands or millions of years earlier, which is released into our atmosphere when burned, contributing to climate change. When fossil fuels are burned they cannot be replenished. This makes them a finite resource and quite unlike forests and plant crops that can be managed sustainably to provide a continuous fuel source and a system for re-absorbing carbon dioxide that is released through burning.

Keep it sustainable…

  • Source locally – reduce transportation emissions and support local businesses
  • Research the extraction process – where has the fuel come from? How energy-intensive are the processes?
  • Make the most of waste – burn waste that would have otherwise been sent to landfill where decomposition releases methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide
  • Support sustainable land management – avoid energy crops that are damaging to local ecosystems or taking up space needed for growing food. Show your support for those that encourage the healthy management of biodiversity and forests