'Technological breakthroughs' could see biopower sector reach $11.5b

The biomass to power sector is expected to grow substantially in the future and worldwide revenue from biomass power generation could reach $11.5 billion (€8.7 million) a year by 2020. This is according to a recent report from Navigant Research.

This growth is being attributed to 'technological breakthroughs and the expansion of international trade in biomass pellets', which are expected to create sustained growth in the sector.

'Offering dispatchable, baseload support to the grid with high load reliability, biopower will continue to play a cornerstone role in meeting renewable energy targets,' says Mackinnon Lawrence, principle research analyst with Navigant Research.

Lawrence adds, however, that logistical hurdles do, and will continue to, hinder its real potential: 'Logistics challenges associated with the collection, aggregation, transportation and handling of biomass, however, will continue to limit the commercial potential of biomass power generation.'

With this, the report – Market Data: Biomass Power Generation – states the growth of the renewable power industry will rely largely on government mandates: 'These policies can be either aspirational or mandated, but if they remain in place through 2020, they could help the biomass market expand. If incentives and subsidies continue to be implemented on an ad hoc basis, growth in this sector is likely to remain constrained,' according to the report.

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