Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies to participate in the trend

Introduction of biomass power generation, with biological gas power generation as the principal method, is increasing in Japan, accompanying promotion of a feed-in tariff system by the government. Presently, it is expected that the amount of energy generated annually from biomass will increase from 17.6 billion kWh in 2013 to 49 billion kWh in 2030.

The purchase price of power generated from biomass is set by the government at five different levels according to the fuel that is utilized. The highest purchase price is 38 cents/kWh (without tax) for biological gas power generation, which utilizes gas from biomass as fuel. This is greater that the purchase price for solar power (24 cents/kWh without tax), and therefore, biological gas power generation installations are increasing the most. In addition, the number of power generating installations that employ wood biomass (with the same purchase price as that for solar power) is also steadily increasing.

Municipalities and businesses are aggressively promoting the installation of biomass power generation plants, and biomass power generation is expected to become a $4.9 billion industry by 2020.

To protect against harm to the environment from the increase in biomass power generation, it will be important to utilize biotechnology to efficiently convert the pollutants that are generated during the production of substances needed for biomass power generation. Realization of an eco-friendly biomass power generating system that can be operated efficiently and at low cost through the use of biotechnology will be extremely beneficial to mankind. In addition, a great business opportunity exists in the chance to configure a compact version of such a system. An even greater business opportunity is the development of microorganism fuel cells; current research is exploring the possibility of employing microorganisms to convert the chemical energy of organic compounds into electricity.

Note that the second international Biomass Power Generation Exposition will take place March 1-3, 2017, in Tokyo. This exposition is believed to be a good venue to ascertain the latest detailed trends in biomass power generation and make business connections, and Wisconsin companies doing business in this space should consider attending.