A recent post on this site discussed how we might power our homes in the future. That article highlighted the increased role that new technologies will play in our lives and flagged up the new power sources that will be needed to power these technologies. Renewable sources of energy are highly likely to play an ever more important role in our lives; it is not too difficult to imagine a future where newly built homes come with solar energy capturing and storing technologies as standard.
So solar energy may go some way towards powering our homes in the future but what of warmth and comfort? How might we heat the homes of the future?
Use of biomass-fuelled boilers is growing and it is likely that, with concerns about climate change increasing, their use will continue to grow. But what is biomass?
According to the Biomass Energy Centre, it is ‘…biological material derived from living, or recently living organisms. In the context of biomass for energy this is often used to mean plant based material, but biomass can equally apply to both animal and vegetable derived material.’
Biomass might sound like a new form of heating material but, of course, it is not. It is the oldest form of heating we know and you may well be using it now. If you have a log burning stove or an open fire and you burn wood on it then you are using biomass materials.