The issue of using woody biomass for energy production has garnered national attention from governments, businesses, industries, landowners and consumers. Below are several assessments compiled on the subject.
In 2010 and 2011, the “25×25″Alliance and the Federal Interagency Woody Biomass Working Group convened a Wood-to-Energy Workgroup, consisting of representatives from landowner groups, professional forestry organizations, environmental organizations, traditional forest industries, emerging renewable energy industries, and academia. Together they explored four topics vital to the future of biomass energy in America: wood demand and supply, sustainability of forest resources, carbon and climate change, and related policies. This paper summarizes the key findings and recommendations for each forum topic.
This follow-up report (generally referred to as the 2011 BT2) expands on the 2005 Billion Ton Study for the contiguous United States to include: (i) a spatial, county-by-county inventory of potentially available primary feedstocks, (ii) price and available quantities (e.g., supply curves) for the individual feedstocks, and (iii) a more rigorous treatment and modeling of resource sustainability.
The Council on Sustainable Biomass Production (CSBP) is a multi-stakeholder organization established in 2007 to develop comprehensive voluntary sustainability standards for the production of biomass and its conversion to bioenergy. CSBP intends for its Standard to serve as the foundation for an independent third-party certification program, which will set the emerging bioenergy industry on a course of continuous improvement. Feedstocks included are dedicated fuel crops, crop residues, and native vegetation.
The Forest Guild’s Guidelines were designed to enhance existing Best Management Practices or new state-based biomass harvesting guidelines that may, in some cases, leave managers and policy makers looking for more detailed recommendations.
Just like coal, when trees are burned in power plants, the carbon they have accumulated over long periods of time is released into the atmosphere. Unlike coal, however, trees will continue to absorb carbon if left alone.
Developed for towns in New Hampshire, this decision making tool helps communities evaluate the viability of wood biomass district heating systems. The process and the tool could be generalized to other types of bioenergy projects in other locales.