Biomass. The Future?

New figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) show the south west is leading the switch from oil to renewable forms of heating such as biomass boilers and heat pumps.

Renewable sources of energy are undoubtedly the future however the current reality of renewable energy for the majority of domestic homes is neither accessible nor feasible.

Despite considerable investment from the government, renewable energy makes more sense for commercial buildings rather than domestic use at present. The government’s renewable heat incentive (RHI) offers an exciting opportunity for industry to offset the initial outlay for a biomass system. This form of energy offers more than just an energy source for industry, there are huge advantages in marketing applications for companies who make the switch.     

However, the fact remains that biomass systems and heat pumps demonstrate barriers to consumers mainly due to space and initial cost. If an individual were to install a biomass boiler they would on average need to pay £25,000 plus VAT in addition to an annual service cost. Biomass boilers also require a greater amount of internal space for storing both the boiler itself and the fuel store. This initial investment is extremely high and could take up to 10 years for the switch to generate return for the consumer.

Heat pumps, regardless of costing much less, also have several draw backs; they tend to be somewhat ineffective in any climate where the outdoor air temperature falls near or below freezing. This is because moving heat from a very cold area to a hotter one takes more energy than moving heat between two areas with a more moderate temperature difference. Typically in the past this might not have been such an issue in the UK however, changes in the climate are causing our winter to become much colder, a trend which looks set to continue. Therefore heat pumps require backup heating as the pumps do not always work effectively thus rendering the benefits. Despite the current draw backs of biomass systems there are both long term cost and sustainability advantages which are attractive.    

WP Group takes sustainability very seriously and is committed to delivering a range of products and services designed to improve efficiency and reduce carbon output.  Renewable energy forms are costly however they will be an inevitable solution to a growing shortage in current non-renewable resources, the companies recent interest in the bio-mass market is a reflection of this industry demand.

In summary, renewable energy sources are not a realistic option for a vast majority of our domestic customers at present.  Commercially, however, companies can benefit from bio systems harnessing this energy to generate significant profit and reduce carbon emissions. WP Group is currently investigating routes into this market in order to offer companies a complete energy solutions package as part of our on-going commitment to sustainable alternatives.          

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