Biomass Power Generation Market by New Market Opportunities, Production Cost Analysis, Market Development and Market Dynamics Forces 2014-2022
Biomass refers to biodegradable organic materials which are non-fossilized and originate from biological sources derived from plants, animals, and micro-organisms. Biomass includes wastes, residues, products, and byproducts from forest, agriculture, and related industries as well as biodegradable organic fractions of municipal and industrial wastes. Biomass in general refers to agriculture and wood wastes, waste from food processing industries, urban and industrial residues, short rotation woody crops, wood, sawdust, municipal solid waste (MSW), and a host of other materials. It can be used as a source of energy input for the provision of heat, electricity generation, and as a fuel in the transportation sector. Biomass is a carbon-neutral, environment-friendly and sustainable source of power generation with a significant potential to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
Rapidly growing industrialization, and developing and emerging economies such as China, India, and Brazil are fueling the demand for energy. Biomass power generation is increasingly adopted across the globe to meet policy targets for reliable, affordable, and secure supply of energy in order to promote economic development and improve electricity access. Biomass power generation, unlike other alternative sources, can also provide base load power which is expected to foster additional growth in the biomass power generation market. Clean sources of renewable energy form a significant part of the solution to economic, climate, environmental, and security challenges posed by the utilization of fossil fuels.
Biomass used for power generation can provide a low-carbon and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, while allowing local communities to use domestic biomass resources. The utilization of biomass resources for power generation forms an important part of the strategic initiatives by various governments and institutions. These initiatives aim to reorganize the national energy economies and augment the share of renewable energy in the overall power generation mix.
For this study, the biomass power generation market has been segmented on the basis of feedstock type and biomass power conversion technology. On the basis of feedstock type, the biomass power generation market has been segmented into woody biomass, agriculture & forest residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, and landfill gas feedstock. According to current estimates, woody biomass is the single largest feedstock for power generation through biomass and occupies the major market share globally in terms of utilization of feedstock by biomass power plants. Agriculture and forest residues are the second most preferred biomass feedstock across the globe. The use of agriculture and forest residues to produce biomass power offers significant opportunity for local and regional economies along with the potential to tap resources around the country.
Regulatory framework and government support in terms of government grants and funding programs that provide investment subsidies and tax benefits play a key role in encouraging power generating companies and utilities to switch to environment-friendly biomass for power generation. Many countries such as the U.S., U.K., and Germany provide a range of incentives and grants to encourage the development and use of biomass as a source of energy. Some countries including India, Indonesia, Australia, and Poland are proposing legislation to boost investments in biomass power generation.
Cost of electricity from biomass-fired power plants majorly depends on feedstock and capital costs. Biomass can compete with conventional power sources with the availability of low cost agricultural or forestry wastes and residues. Even in the regions where feedstock is expensive, the cost of electricity from biomass is still more competitive than that from coal-fired generation, making biomass ideal for off-grid power supply. Governments support the biomass power sector in the form of incentives that include feed-in tariffs, tax incentives, loan guarantees and public competitive bidding. The above factors are likely to fuel growth in the biomass power generation market.
Key participants in the global biomass power generation market include Alstom SA, Ameresco, Inc., DONG Energy A/S, Drax Group plc, Forth Energy Ltd., Helius Energy Plc, Enviva LP, MGT Power Ltd., The Babcock & Wilcox Company, and Vattenfall AB. The report provides an overview of these companies, followed by their financial overview, business strategies, and recent developments.