Renewable Energies are becoming more and more the mainstream technologies in the investment portfolios of energy companies in many countries on the globe; and also private houses are using more and more renewable energies to cover their energy needs. Among renewables, biomass is the most important energy resource.
Biomass is stored solar energy and offers many synergies in combination with solar and wind technologies. The variety of the feedstock coming from biomass in combination with the different technologies for conversion such as combustion, gasification, fermentation, esterification delivers a wide range of energy products for the industry, the transportation sector and the private consumer. Worldwide biomass is used in small scale units to serve the energy needs of families but as well in large application to supply cities or industrial plants with the needed electricity or heat.
In combination with the energy coming from hydropower, wind, solar and geothermal sources the global potential of biomass is big enough to transform the global energy system, based at present mainly on fossil and nuclear sources, to a system based on renewable energy sources. This can be achieved within a few decades.
The better collection and utilization of biomass resources, coming form forests, agriculture or waste streams and new developments in the production of biomass on land or in water such as the production of biomass from algae offer the opportunity to increase the biomass supply for the energy system by several 100% within a few decades.
The future deployment of bioenergy should be based on the principles of sustainability, efficiency and viable economic solutions always taking into account the balance between the supply for food and for energy. On the way to a global society, that faces the challenge of climate change and tries to limit global warming to 2 degree the rapid deployment of biomass is an indispensable part of a responsible strategy for climate protection.
International conferences like this one in Nanjing are important events to share common experiences and newly developed knowledge in order to accelerate the transformation to a sustainable energy system.