This preliminary ISPRE report on biomass was compiled at the same time as a more complete analysis on photovoltaic and wind energy. These are the three technologies that are currently considered to have the greatest sustainable potential and widest applicability. Initially, the intention was to produce a full analysis of global R&D issues relating to all three technologies. However, biomass energy is a very complex area that is evolving rapidly, and it was not possible for ISPRE to cover all aspects with the time and resources available. For example, during the course of this work the potential effects of land-use change due to planting of crops for fuel has become a ‘hot’ scientific issue, which is only briefly mentioned in the current report. This report is presented as a preliminary analysis, fully recognising that it is incomplete in several aspects, but with the hope that it nevertheless represents a useful compilation and assessment that can provide a basis for further work.