December 15, 2008

Study: Biomass may be good energy source

Some German scientists say a global energy supply based on biomass is a realistic. sustainable and economical possibility, contrary to current thinking.

The theory is being advanced by Professors Jurgen Metzger of Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany, and Aloys Huettermann from the University of Goettingen, who say it is a workable scenario, contrary to current theories that suggests it is unrealistic.

Metzger and Huettermann say enough biomass can be grown on land previously degraded by human activities to meet the global energy demand predicted by the International Energy Agency in the Reference Scenario for 2030.

They said the solution is to plant fast-growing trees on degraded areas, and harvest the biomass for energy usage. The professors argue the investment required for afforestation and transformation of the biomass into electrical energy, heat, fuels and chemical feedstock is sustainable at not more, and probably even less, than what would be needed to be invested in infrastructure for non-sustainable fossil energy.

The research appears in the journal Naturwissenschaften.