Renewable Energy Boilers and the Benefits of Biomass

Article by Richard Clique

With the UK Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) offering enticing advantages to those willing to invest in environmentally-friendly forms of heating, this could be the perfect time to become part of the renewable energy club. The technology is still developing, but early adopters will benefit from payment incentives as a reward for helping to iron out any potential problems with green energy generators. As the Government decides how to best implement this ‘off-the-grid’ approach to energy production, your household could benefit from money-saving, environmentally-ethical sources of renewable energy, such as solar panels and biomass boilers.

With such incentives in place, the dream of money-saving energy sources and a flourishing low carbon economy doesn’t seem like such a huge undertaking. By 2050, the Government aims to reduce the UK’s emissions by 80%, but according to the RHI guidelines published in 2011, only one per cent of heat in homes currently comes from renewable energy sources. This only refers to the domestic sector, as it goes without saying that a fair proportion of carbon emissions are produced by the commercial and industrial sectors. Still, most of us benefit from household heating derived from fossil fuels – a necessity that is nonetheless putting a significant strain on our non-renewable energy sources.

Most of the published literature on renewable energy focuses on solar energy. Solar panels are relatively easy to install and provide a cheap and effective means of household heating. Generally, these are used to supplement the gas that is already used to heat water for the home, and thus don’t provide a truly renewable energy source. Biomass boilers, on the other hand, can provide heating for the entire house. Many types of biomass boiler can be installed in the living space, acting as an attractive focal point for the modern living room – much like a contemporary reimagining of the traditional wood-burning fire or stove.

Most biomass boilers burn wood pellets, which are created by compressing shredded wood under high pressure. This creates densely-packed pellets that have an energy density that is typically three to four times that of wood chips, owing to their low moisture content and highly compressed structure. Good quality pellets will provide hours of uninterrupted hot water and burn more cleanly than standard wood.

That is probably the main problem with biomass boilers, however. Whilst other low-carbon renewable energy sources such as solar energy produce little to no emissions, biomass boilers will emit a certain amount of particle pollution into the atmosphere. Compared to traditional energy sources though, biomass accounts for only a tiny proportion of all particulate emissions in the UK. Obviously this will increase as the adoption of biomass-burning renewable energy sources grows, but the use of air filters can reduce the amount of harmful particles released by a significant proportion.

The real beauty of biomass lies in its use as a potential supplement to other renewable energy sources in the home. Combined with the use of solar panels, biomass boilers can act as an eminently reliable source of energy that can be used as necessary. And the best part of the renewable energy equation? Excess energy can be sold back to local energy companies – nothing goes to waste.

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Professional Plumbing and Heating Advice on how to find the best renewable energy products online, for your customers or your home.

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