Can renewable energy sources power the world?
Can renewable energy sources power the world?

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Week 4: Bioenergy

Introduction

This week you’ll look at bioenergy – the most ancient form of renewable energy, if we think of the wood fires used by our early ancestors. This form of ‘traditional biofuel’ is still widely used in many ‘developing’ countries. As you’ll see, bioenergy is now a much more modern energy source – but still essentially derived from the growth of plants.

Download this video clip.Video player: intro_week4_bioenergy_640.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • discuss at a basic level the main processes by which bioenergy in various forms can be extracted from biomass
  • Present an overview of the merits of different biomass sources and processes in specified contexts, and discuss the environmental and social issues involved
  • understand at an introductory level the potential contribution from a specified biomass source, and its cost, given relevant data.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371