Eric Kemp-Benedict, a senior scientist at SEI-US and lead author of Biomass in a Low-Carbon Economy: Resource Scarcity, Climate Change, and Business in a Finite World, explains how the challenge of keeping global temperature increases under 2°C also creates great opportunities for innovation – such as the chance to lay the groundwork for a bio-based economy.

… In many countries, coal-fired plants have been retrofitted to burn wood; in Sweden, biomass surpassed oil in 2009 as the No. 1 energy source. Developing nations such as India have focused on using biomass more cleanly and efficiently, making briquettes, for example, from agricultural and forestry wastes.

Most notably, we’ve seen a surge in production of liquid biofuels from sugarcane, maize and other sources. … The best projects don’t just make ethanol, but also use the fibrous residues to generate energy. Some are going one step farther, and making biogas, specialized chemicals and bio-based materials that can replace non-renewable materials, such as bio-plastics. …

Source: RioPlus Business, UK