The Role of Biomass in the World’s Energy System



Since the dawn of civilization until the middle of the nineteenth century, biomass was the world’s dominant source of energy and its consumption grew from approximately 50 million tons of oil equivalent in the beginning of the Christian era to 1,000 tons of oil equivalent today (a 20-fold increase). In this period, biomass has supplied the needs of the population for cooking and heating as well as shipbuilding, housing, and forges to process metals (mainly for weapons). Presently, biomass accounts for about 10% of the world’s primary energy consumption.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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