Biomass is a biological material derived from the living or recently living organisms. In the context of biomass for energy this is often used to mean plant based material, but biomass can equally apply to both animal and vegetable derived material.
Biomass is a renewable, low carbon fuel that is already widely available throughout the UK. The vital difference between wood biomass and fossil fuels is one of time scale.
Wood biomass is harvested in a sustainable way as the crop is constantly replenished. CO₂ is taken out of the atmosphere at the same time it is released by combustion of the previous crop. This process is called CO₂ neutral. Comparatively fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas are also derived from biological matter. However, this matter contains CO₂ from the atmosphere millions of years ago. As a result when fossil fuels are burnt for energy they release this CO₂ back into the atmosphere.