Biomass heat. Often the most underestimated form of energy is heat. While most renewable energy discussions focus on electricity, it should not be forgetten that heat usage is larger. Within the heat usage sector one of the largest is the use of heat in the industry. The industry consumes large quantities of heat in the shape of high pressure steam.
This high pressure steam is used in industrial processes to transform products. From oil to plastic, from nuts to food, from gas to building materials. Almost all industrial products have consumed heat in their production process.
Biomass heat is produced very efficiently from biomass. More than 90% of the energy held in biomass is efficiently used to create energy. Compare this to the traditional use of biomass for electricity production; there less than 50% of the energy held in biomass is efficiently used.
The advantages of using industrial heat as renewable energy are clear:
– Large scale, making a significant step towards the goals of the Dutch government of 16% renewable.
– Low cost compared to many other options (e.g. offshore wind, solar), keeping the costs of renewables low.
– No waste of biomass. More than 90% of biomass is efficiently used.
– Baseload. No dependency on wind or sun, no enhancements of the powergrids necessary.
In summary, steam from biomass is a great way of renewable energy.