Japan is a country poor in energy resources and has flourished by consuming large quantities of cheap fossil fuels. However, with the emergence of global warming as a serious concern in the late 1980’s, we entered into a new era when it is necessary to use a balanced combination of fossil fuels, atomic and renewable energy. The need is evident to increase renewable energy as a middle/long term measure in order to attain a low-level emission of greenhouse gases.
Biomass is a renewable energy derived from animal and plant organic matter. Though it generates carbon dioxide when utilized, the biomass was created from solar energy, water, and carbon dioxide, and so does not increase the earth's net volume of carbon dioxide. In this respect, biomass is said to be "carbon neutral" (Fig. 1).