No burning of biomass by default

stack of wood in the forestClick to enlarge
Material use of biomass should come before use for energy
Source: Tom Bayer /

Biomass materials such as wood, maize starch or vegetable oil should not automatically be used for energy.

The life cycle assessment analysis improves if there is material use of biomass, which is when it is made into new goods, and only later – after as many uses as possible – is used for energy. These are the results of a study done for the UBA.

Example: Instead of making wood pellets for heating purposes, wood should first be used in building or in the wood products industry. End-of-life wood products can subsequently be used to produce electricity or heat. Cascading use of this type can generate five to ten times the gross added value from the same amount of biomass and have similar effects on employment. However, current legislation and tax conditions and subsidies favour the use of biomass for energy. This situation must be changed.