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Farmers Should Be More Involved In Biomass Energy Market

by the Fish Site Editor
20 December 2006, at 12:00am

UK - From climate change to volatile oil prices, all the signs point to a looming global energy crisis. Confronting the growing challenge means that humanity can no longer afford to ignore the inexhaustible resource found in the organic material that the Sun provides each day through photosynthesis.

Solar energy enables plants to absorb carbon gas and produce not only oxygen but matter that the animal kingdom uses for food - and that machines can use for energy.

Since the Neolithic (or late Stone Age) period, humans have been cultivating this "biomass" in order to feed themselves. Yet, even in today's world, its energy potential is ignored. Beginning with the industrial revolution, humans sought energy from coal, and later from oil and natural gas, but this leads to the exhaustion of non-renewable resources.

Existing alternatives for diversifying energy production are limited. Biomass, on the other hand, has several advantages. Supplies of it are large and available throughout the world. Moreover, the technology necessary to convert it into energy - including high-yield burning, gas conversion and liquefaction into synthetic fuel - has long been mastered.

Thus, while cultivating energy would create new constraints, it would also open new possibilities for many economic actors. The farmer and the forest worker could become more involved in the market, the mine engineer could begin to take an interest in crop fields, the banker in plant shares, etc. But, in order to prepare for a scaling up of energy cropping, new policies must be implemented, both in northern and southern countries, in terms of agriculture, land and water management, protection of biodiversity, fuel taxes, and information and awareness-raising.

Source: The Scotsman

the Fish Site Editor