In contrast to non-renewable energy (coal, oil, natural gas or radioactive energy), renewable energy is any energy that can replace itself. Most renewable energy comes from non-fossil energy sources, such as wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro and bio-energy.
Bioenergy is a key renewable energy resource. Derived from biomass (any organic material), it is either:
- the direct product of photosynthesis – for example, plant matter – leaves, stems, etc. or
- the indirect product of photosynthesis – for instance, animal mass resulting from the consumption of plant matter.
The types of biomass that are used to provide bioenergy include:
- purpose-grown energy crops, including short rotation forestry, reed canary grass, etc.
- recycled wood
- waste streams, including residues from forestry and related industries
- agricultural residues and agrifood effluents
- organic fraction of municipal solid waste
- separated household waste and sewage sludge
To learn more about the types of biomass involved in the RASLRES project, please click on the links below:
Why are bioenergy fuels so important in the RASLRES partner regions?
Bioenergy fuels are vital to the RASLRES partner regions because:
- The climatic conditions of these regions are suited to forestry growth, grasses, energy crops and they have plentiful marine resources because of extensive coastlines.
- Agricultural traditions already in place in each region can be evolved to take advantage of bioenergy opportunities – for example, for growing crops that can be used in the bio-energy process.
- Novel solutions to waste-management issues can be established by applying bioenergy technology.
In addition, the increased use of bioenergy resources in the NPP areas will contribute to renewable energy targets; climate change mitigation policies; waste policies; rural development by providing new markets and employment development opportunities for farming and forestry sectors as well as community enterprise.