China's biomass companies are on the fast track after government policymakers approved heightened investment in clean energy technology.
Biomass is defined as biological material - generally farm or forestry byproducts - that can be used directly via combustion to produce heat or indirectly after converting it to various forms of biofuel.
The pilot projects, valued at
The projects' completion will provide energy equivalent to 1.2 million metric tons of coal and will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5 million tons, the statement said.
The program aims to build an entire industrial chain from fuel collection to biomass furnace construction and to boost the biomass market, the paper said.
The fast-track plan illustrates the government's determination to reduce the nation's reliance on fossil fuels.
Although fossil fuels, particularly coal, continue to be a dominant energy source in the overall mix, the share of non-fossil fuels in
But many believe this is not enough for the world's largest energy consumer and producer.
He said the natural resource that comes from an estimated 800 million tons of agricultural and forestry waste is the biggest available fuel source in the world today.
"The potential in
"Apparently, the government policy is driving in that direction by encouraging investment," Parker said.
But unlike other new energy sectors, like wind power, the seemingly booming sector poses unique challenges.
"Biomass is hard work, and negotiating with farmers can be very problematic, which makes the work of collecting biomass fuel difficult," the senior executive said.
The fact that the participation level by private enterprises remains very low is another hurdle to the biomass sector. The energy industry is controlled by small group of huge power generation companies, which restricts to some extent the development of medium-sized biomass plants, according to Parker.
"If you are managing 40 to 50 gigawatts of power, how can you focus on the 30-60 megawatt plants?" he asked.
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