Global Contribution and distribution
· The biggest users of biomass energy are currently parts of Africa such as Angola and Kenya who use biomass for more than 40% of their energy consumption. Parts of the world that use less biofuel energy include Britain and Germany.
· The biggest potential for biomass is Africa and Russia. The lowest potential lies within Europe and regions such as Iraq and Syria.
· Biomass provides about 45 ± 10 EJ, making it by far the most important renewable energy source used. On average, in the industrialised countries biomass contributes less than 10% to the total energy supplies, but in developing countries the proportion is as high as 40%.
Biomass in the UK
· Currently bio fuels make up 3.1% of the total road transport fuel in the UK. By 2020, the aim is that 10% of the energy used in UK road and rail transport must come from renewable sources. This would be the equivalent of replacing 4.3 million tonnes of fossil fuel oil each year. Conventional bio fuels are likely to produce between 3.7% and 6.6% of the energy needed in road and rail transport, while advanced bio fuels could meet up to 4.3% of the UK’s renewable transport fuel target by 2020.
Use of Traditional Bio fuel in Burkina Faso (LEDC Case study)
· Burkina Faso in Africa lies North of Ghana and is 274,200 km² in size. Still to this day Burkina Faso uses traditional sources of bio fuel such as fuel wood.
· This causes many social and environmental problems for Burkina Faso. One social negative of fuel wood is that many women and children each day go and gather fuel wood so they can cook their meals and make a small living from selling excess wood.
· This has a negative impact on the women and especially the children, as education is made less of a priority, and the older women are unable to find alternative sources of higher paid work as they would still need to gather their wood on a daily basis to carry out essential tasks such as cooking.
· However the fuel wood also carries many environmental negatives. When fuel wood is burnt it releases Co2 into the atmosphere. This Co2 has been linked to high cancer rates and death rates due to the excess of Co2 in people’s homes, which are not ventilated well.
· The fuel wood however does create another environmental negative. This is that the rate of trees being cut down far exceeds the number of trees that are being replaced or that are naturally growing back.
The use of non-traditional Biofuel in the UK (MEDC Case study)
· Biofuels in use in the UK are made from agricultural crops such as wheat, maize, palm oil or sugar or wastes such as cooking oil. In the UK they are mixed with petrol and diesel to fuel our cars.