Public attitudes to biomass cofiring, CCC/214

There is substantial interest in producing energy from renewable sources given the continuing concerns regarding climate change. One attractive renewable source for power generation is the use of biomass. Cofiring biomass is one of the simplest ways of reducing GHG emissions from coal-fired power plant. When doing so, in addition to addressing technical factors, it is important to consider public attitudes, as these shape government policies. Surveys of public attitudes to energy usually include renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro. Bioenergy is sometimes included but cofiring seldom so. When assessing public attitudes, it is instructive to consider what information is freely available to the public. Hence information provided by major national or international organisations, either in favour or against cofiring, are described.

It is apparent that the public in most countries have little knowledge of bioenergy as a renewable energy source and most opinion polls do not even address the issue of the public’s attitudes towards it. The few polls that have been conducted indicate that solar, wind and hydro are much more popular than bioenergy. Bioenergy is more popular in countries such as in Northern Europe which have extensive experience in using wood products as an energy source. Opposition to cofiring biomass in coal-fired plant is mainly on the grounds of biomass availability and sustainability. The power industry publications concentrate on the technical issues for the plant when cofiring biomass rather than availability and sustainability concerns.


Title: Public attitudes to biomass cofiring, CCC/214
Author(s): Rohan Fernando
Reference: CCC/214
ISBN: ISBN: 978-92-9029-534-1
Publication Date: 01/02/2013
Pages: 47
Figures: 17
Tables: 10