The European Biomass Association notes that biomass is the only renewable energy source providing solutions for all energy sectors: transportation, electric power, and heating and cooling. According to its 2015 statistical report, 74.6% of the biomass consumed today in Europe for energy purposes is used to produce heat, or 78.4 million tons; followed by bioelectricity, 13.5 million tons; and biofuels for transportation, 13.1 million tons. About 70% of the total bioenergy feedstock delivered today in Europe originates from the forestry sector and the remaining 30% comes from waste and agriculture.

Italy is the world’s largest user of wood pellets for domestic heat with nearly 2.9 million metric tons. Germany is second followed by Sweden.

Heat accounts for half of the European Union’s final energy consumption.

Research and consulting firm GlobalData says Brazil’s non-hydro renewable power sector is expected to account for more than 25% of Brazil’s total electric power generation capacity by 2025. Non-hydro renewables’ cumulative installed capacity is expected to more than triple from 17.1 Gigawatts (GW) in 2014 to 57.8 GW ten years from now. The growth will come from using more wind, biomass, and solar power. Brazil generates power from a diverse range of sources, with hydropower accounting for the majority of the country’s requirements. However, hydro power is expected to decline from 67% of total installed generation capacity in 2014 to 55% by 2025.

In a recent study Mark Z. Jacobson says 139 countries could generate all the energy needed for their homes, businesses, industry, transportation, and agriculture from wind, solar and water power technologies by 2050. Jacobson provides an itemized mix of technologies and costs for every nation, as well as how much land and rooftop area would be required.

A new wind farm in the US state of Iowa will have the tallest wind turbine in the country. The 2.3-MW turbine at the Adams wind farm will reach a height of 554 feet, making it about as tall as the Washington Monument. It is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

Norway’s Statoil plans to invest 2 billion Norwegian crowns ($236 million) in building a floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland, in what the oil and gas company says will be the first of its kind in the world. The pilot project will consist of five floating wind turbines, each with 6 megawatt capacity, off the coast near Aberdeen in an area where the water depth is up to 120 metres. Floating turbines are built for waters deeper than about 50 metres – the maximum for foundation-based turbines.

The International Energy Agency reports renewable energy installations accounted for almost half of the world’s new power generation capacity in 2014. As a result, renewables have become the second-largest source of electricity. The Agency also noted that electricity from new onshore wind farms in Europe now costs less than coal, nuclear and natural gas.


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