Biomass projects that generate electrical power at industrial locations also generate enough heat to be productively used. Making use of this waste heat increases a project's overall cost efficiency.
Gasifiers are an emerging commercial technology that convert biomass into a gas that can be used in a variety of engines and generators, including gas-combustion turbines and potentially also fuel cells. Gasifiers are much cleaner and more efficient than conventional steam boiler-driven turbines.
For proposed CHP projects, as in many other current and potential biomass projects, available Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) play a key role in making the economics cost effective. RECs are "green" credits that utilities can obtain by investing in renewable energy projects—such as biomass—to help them meet state quotas for renewable power production.