Importance of biomass in the energy matrix

Importância da biomassa na matriz energética

What is the relevance of biomass in the Brazilian energy matrix? Biomass power generation is expected to reach more than 2,160 megawatts by 2028.

What is the importance of biomass in the energy matrix? In recent years, the search for alternatives to fossil fuels has increased as climate change has become more evident. Thus, obtaining energy from biomass has gained prominence among renewable sources, mainly due to its low production cost.

The main sources of the Brazilian energy matrix are fossils, such as oil, gas and coal, biomass and hydraulics. According to the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), biomass is responsible for about 9% of energy production in the country, being the fourth most important in Brazil. Furthermore, as estimated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), it has the potential to produce twice the country’s energy demand in the future, which qualifies it as a valuable alternative to non-renewable sources.

What is biomass and its use in the energy matrix

Biomass is any residue of plant or animal origin used to produce energy, such as agricultural, forestry and urban leftovers. In Brazil, the main raw material used is sugarcane bagasse from sugarcane plantations. However, it is also possible to generate energy from animal waste, urban solid waste (MSW) or forest biomass.

Forest biomass refers to organic matter that originates in forest areas, such as firewood, charcoal and wood pellets. From the burning or fermentation of these substrates, it is possible to produce electricity, heat and biofuels, for example.

The 2022 national energy balance, prepared by the Energy Research Company (EPE), revealed that renewable sources account for 44.7% of the Brazilian energy matrix. This slice is distributed among sugarcane biomass (16.4%), hydraulic (11%), firewood and charcoal (8.7%) and other renewables (8.7%), with lye, wind energy predominating in this last category. and biodiesel.

Even so, for the coming years, the tendency is for Brazil to increase the share of biomass in the energy matrix, since it is a country with an extensive arable area with favorable weather conditions throughout the year.

Proof of this are the increases in government incentives and private investments in the exploitation of this energy source. In 2022 alone, more than 600 megawatts should be installed in the network of the National Interconnected Electricity System, coming from generation from biomass. In addition, BNDES allocated R$80 million for the construction of 4 biomass plants and there is a promotion of technological research by industries on the use of biomass in the production of fuel.

Benefits of using biomass

The use of biomass brings several benefits. First, the resources are renewable, which facilitates the maintenance of energy production. In addition, although it is not a totally clean source, the burning of residues used in the production of biomass results in a lower emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Unlike fossil fuels that emit millions of tons of greenhouse gases (GHGs) during their burning, biomass comes from raw materials that during their life cycle had already stored CO2 from the atmosphere. That is, there is a natural cycle existing in the process, which does not generate a new source of emission.

As originated products, it is possible to produce, from biomass, biogas, ethanol, biodiesel and charcoal. It is an option that has a low cost for reuse and presents less environmental risk, since it also provides a useful purpose for agricultural, organic, urban and domestic sewage that are eventually incorrectly disposed of in the environment.

Currently, 82% of bioelectricity production is generated through sugarcane straw and bagasse. However, with the modernization of the sector and new investments, bioelectricity could grow by up to 60% in the coming years. Therefore, biomass is of great importance in the Brazilian energy matrix. If you liked the content, follow us on social networks and don’t miss any news.