World Bioenergy Association issues small-scale biomass heat facts

By Anna Simet | October 25, 2012

As part of a campaign to highlight key developments across the entire bioenergy industry, the World Bioenergy Association has released a fact sheet focused on small-scale biomass heating.

The fact sheet covers topics such as the heating value of different types of fuel, including firewood, wood chips and wood pellets;  technological improvements; modern equipment including firewood stoves and boilers, wood chip boilers , wood pellet boilers, retrofitted oil boilers and wood/solar heating combinations; market perspectives and economic issues.

 “In recent years there have been impressive technological advancements, both by industry and the scientific community, in the area of modern small-scale bioenergy heating below 100 kilowatts,” the WBA stated. “The main advancements have been in the preparation of the biomass fuel as well as the combustion technology, resulting in increasing efficiencies and continued reductions of harmful emissions by over 90 percent when compared to older models.” 

The WBA pointed out that in many regions across the world, people are using old or outdated equipment with low energy conversion efficiency that can result in relatively high emissions. At the same time, however, significant improvements in the technology of small-scale biomass combustion have been achieved during the last decade.

Part of the problem is inadequate public policy in regard to renewable heat energy, according to the WBA, as its significance is often overlooked, even though the heat energy sector is often the most important part of overall primary energy. “…biomass offers solutions with high efficiency and economic advantages for the consumers,” the WBA stated.

WBA is urging public authorities to re-evaluate the importance of biomass for production of heat energy, especially for the small-scale heat market, and to set up promotion programs for this energy sector, including the supply side, training of installers, financial support for installation costs and awareness building among the public.

The association hopes the fact sheet/campaign will help fill an important gap in the availability of objective and up-to-date information for decision-makers on bioenergy opportunities. Download it here.