Global biomass capacity could hit 115 GW

Worldwide biomass power generation capacity could reach 115 GW, representing $138bn in cumulative investment, according to a US-based research report.

The analysis from US-based Pike research states that at the very least, global capacity will grow from 58 GW last year to 86 GW by 2021, marking a total investment of $104bn.

However, it suggests that under a more aggressive growth scenario, capacity could reach 115 GW as governments “incentivise renewable power sources that can alleviate concerns around energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and stimulate economic development”.

Senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence said that power generation from biomass is currently “hamstrung by policy uncertainty and the high costs of feedstock relative to fossil fuels”.

But he added that the “combination of a burgeoning international trade in biomass pellets, implementation of emission regulations, and increased utilisation of co-firing strategies is expected to accelerate global scale-up efforts over the next decade”.

Pike estimates that demand for biomass resources will reach at least 1bn tonnes per year, with an expanding trade in biomass pellets a key indicator of growth over the next decade.

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