15 Dec '11, 4pm

Renewable Energy's Ugly Duckling: Biomass. Interesting read by @onearthmag #environmentnetwork

Renewable Energy's Ugly Duckling: Biomass. Interesting read by @onearthmag #environmentnetwork

Could the fate of the planet be shaped by rice husks, eucalyptus twigs, and cow dung? Serious question. Power from the sun, which I wrote about in my last column , is the sexy poster child of renewable energy. Power from the soil -- biomass -- is the ugly duckling. For more than 700 million people in South Asia, daily survival still depends on burning biomass, and the idea that these people will continue to power their lives with firewood and agricultural waste carries a persistent stigma: it's a symbol of the past, not the future; it's a health hazard and a poverty trap; it's crude, dirty, and downright distasteful.

Full article: http://www.onearth.org/article/renewable-energys-ugly-duc...

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