Despite a slump in annual additions, the global biopower market is set to show steady growth, rising from 106.2 Gigawatts (GW) of installed capacity in 2015 to 165.2 GW by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate of 4.4%, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
The company’s latest report states that global biopower is a niche market in the renewable energy industry, and is likely to grow at a significant rate in the future. Although bioenergy is not a new concept, recent advancements have improved both performance and reliability. The increases in global energy demand and climate change concerns are the primary growth drivers for the biopower industry.
Anchal Agarwal, GlobalData’s Analyst covering Power, explains: “The major driver for the successful deployment of large-scale biopower plants is government support in terms of renewable energy mandates and financial incentives, such as subsidies and production tax credits. Additionally, environmental regulations for emissions reductions discourage the use of fossil fuels for power generation, meaning alternatives such as biopower or other renewable energy sources are required.
“Waste management practices such as composting and land filling indirectly support biopower generation, and many industries have set up biopower facilities to handle their waste. With proper financial support and government mandates in place, biopower installations have become a more viable option, and an appropriate solution to the issue of waste management. Conversion of waste into energy resolves the issues of waste management and sustainable energy.”
The top 10 active biopower plants are mainly wood or agricultural by-product dependent, and Europe and the US dominate the market geographically. The UK-based Drax Biomass Power Plant is the leading active biopower plant, with 630 Megawatts (MW) of total capacity. Other large plants include Jaboticabal Biomass Power Plant, which has a capacity of 302 MW and is owned by Brazilian company Destiliaria Santa Clara Ltd, and Aros G4 CHP, which is owned by Malarenergi AB and has a capacity of 243 MW.