ALTERNATIVE SOURCES OF ENERGY.
Biomass is a renewable energy resource derived from the carbonaceous waste of various human and natural activities. It is derived from numerous sources, including the by-products from the .
timber industry, .
agricultural crops, .
raw material from the forest, .
major parts of household waste and .
Renewable energy sources can be replenished in a short period of time. The five renewable sources used most often include hydropower (water), solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass.
Biomass does not add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as it absorbs the same amount of carbon in growing as it releases when consumed as a fuel. Its advantage is that it can be used to generate electricity with the same equipment or power plants that are now burning fossil fuels. Biomass is an important source of energy and the most important fuel worldwide after coal, oil and natural gas. .
Half a kilo of dry plant tissue can produce as much as 1890 KCal of heat which is equivalent to the heat available from a quarter of kilogram of coal.
Many of the biomass fuels used today come in the form of wood products, dried vegetation, crop residues, and aquatic plants. Biomass has become one of the most commonly used renewable sources of energy in the last two decades, second only to hydropower in the generation of electricity . It is such a widely utilized source of energy, probably due to its low cost and indigenous nature, that it accounts for almost 15% of the world's total energy supply and as much as 35% in developing countries, mostly for cooking and heating . .
Biomasss exists in villages which occupy 70% of India and needs to be tapped intelligently to provide not only electricity but also water to irrigate and cultivate fields to further increase production of biomass (either as a main product or as a by-product), ensuring steady generation of electricity.