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An introduction to biomass

What is biomass?

Biomass is mostly sourced from commercial forestry, but also comes from the biodegradable fraction of products, wastes and residues from the agricultural industries and waste recycling sectors.

In Scotland, over three quarters of the biomass used for renewable energy generation comes from fully sustainable wood grown in our commercial forests.

Find out more about the main forms of wood fuel used in Scotland, including wood chip, pellets and logs here.

Biomass is used to generate electricity (in large grid connected power stations), both electricity and heat (in Combined Heat and Power plants) and heat only plants.  It can also can be used to produce renewable liquid transport fuels (produced from energy crops like rapeseed).

The usewoodfuel website focuses primarily on wood fuel used for the generation of heat in commercial scale installations (above 45kW). Heat is Scotland's largest energy market - far larger than electricity and transport.

If you are interested in finding out more about the main biomass resources and their associated supply chains and end uses, please see the UK Biomass Strategy, 2007.

The benefits of biomass

The use of biomass is encouraged across the globe, including by the United Nations, the European Union, the UK Government and the Scottish Government. It provides a majority of our renewable energy here at home: and throughout the World. It is most efficently used to generate heat.

Biomass contributes to local economic development by creating new supply chain jobs and economic activity,  it offers signficant carbon emissions reductions, as well as often providing cost savings to those switching from fossil fuels.

Harvester

Economic benefits

The ongoing need for fuel creates jobs and ongoing economic benefits

Flue with dirty smoke

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The facts about wood fuel and emissions.

A sustainable fuel

Why wood fuel from Scotland is a sustainable resource.