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The Biomass is biological material from living, or recently living organisms, most often referring to plants or plant-derived materials. As a renewable energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or indirectly once or converted into another type of energy product such as biofuel.

Biomass energy is derived from six distinct energy sources: garbage, wood, plants, waste, landfill gases, and alcohol fuels.

The biomass used for electricity generation varies by region. Forest by-products, such as wood residues, are common in the United States. Agricultural waste is common in Mauritius (sugar cane residue) and Southeast Asia (rice husks). Animal husbandry residues, such as poultry litter, are common in the UK.

A few European countries, including Denmark and Austria started research on biomass electricity generation since 1980's. The world's first straw electric power plant was developed in Denmark in 1988.

Biomass power plant size is often driven by biomass availability in close proximity as transport costs of the (bulky) fuel play a key factor in the plant's economics. It has to be noted, however, that rail and especially shipping on waterways can reduce transport costs significantly, which has led to a global biomass market.

The biomass power generating industry in the United States, which consists of approximately 11,000 MW of summer operating capacity actively supplying power to the grid, produces about 1.4 percent of the U.S. electricity supply.

The main contributors of waste energy are municipal solid waste (MSW), manufacturing waste, and landfill gas that reach up to 100% of combustion waste in Japan.