Biomass fuels can be produced from agricultural, forestry and municipal wastes and residues, as well as from crops such as sugar, grain, and vegetable oil. Crops grown for use as biomass fuel can be grown on degraded, surplus and marginal agricultural land, and algae could, in the future, be exploited as a marine source of biomass fuel. Thus, biomass could provide a significant proportion of the heat, electricity and fuel demand of the future.

Bioenergy is the largest global source of renewable energy, and contributes an estimated 10% of global primary energy production, in particular as a direct source of industrial and domestic heat.