Protection of the environment in which we live is one of our most important objectives and tasks. Green energy is one of the most efficient ways for each of us to contribute to mitigating the climate change and to the preservation of the nature.
Why is biofuel an environmentally-friendly fuel type?
Biofuel is a renewable energy source – trees, grain (straw), and other resources that are turned into biofuel grow back. This is the main difference between renewable fuel – green and environmentally-friendly, and fossil fuel – wasting and non-regenerative.
According to international agreements, the use of renewable resources in energy is considered to be not contributing to the green-house effect, and the CO2 emitted in incinerating biofuel does not cause climate warming.
This is because that while growing, trees produce oxygen as a by-product through the photosynthesis process, and absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. The volume of the CO2 absorbed exactly corresponds to its amount discharged into the atmosphere in the process of incineration. It follows that when growing and burning biofuel, the overall amount of CO2 in the environment does not increase.
Where the logging waste, sub-standard wood, straw or other organic substances were not burned but rather left to rot, the decomposition process would discharge into the atmosphere exactly the same amount of CO2 as during incineration.
The process is exactly the opposite in burning fossil fuel, i.e., gas, fuel oil, coal and other resources extracted from the depths of the earth. The incineration of these types of fuel discharges enormous amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, alongside with compounds of different metals (sulphur, nitrogen, etc.)that would not be discharged into the environment otherwise. Therefore when incinerated, the fossil fuel promotes the green-house effect and pollutes the environment – the carbon that in the course of thousands of years has accumulated in the grounds in the form of CO2 is instantaneously discharged into the atmosphere.
Countries of the European Union and other countries in the world seek to regulate the amounts of green-house gases emitted into the atmosphere, therefore, boiler houses using fossil fuel are required to obtain special dioxide emission allowances. After the more stringent EU environmental directive comes into force in 2016, boiler houses incinerating fossil fuel would require solid investment for the installation of special electrostatic filters, which will naturally increase the price of their production. Biofuel boiler houses need neither carbon dioxide allowances, nor special filters.
For the purpose of mitigating the climate change, renewable energy is specifically promoted alongside with efforts to decentralise it and make it more easily accessible to final consumers. Biofuel is undoubtedly one of the most forward-looking types of renewable energy, being so abundant both in Lithuania and its neighbouring countries. Biofuel has been used extensively and for a long time in many Nordic countries, such as Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
Lithuania has committed, in accordance with the European Union directive, to be producing 23% of the total energy consumed from renewable energy resources by 2020.