Woody Biomass as an Energy Source

Wood Energy March 12, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF
Stack of woody biomass bundled during a forest residues harvest operation in East Texas

Biomass offers America a tremendous opportunity to use sustainable, domestic woody vegetation resources to help meet its power, transportation fuel, and chemical needs. The message is clear. America needs to use domestic bioenergy resources to

  • improve our national strategic energy security;
  • create new jobs and new, value-added products;
  • provide for alternatives to current energy sources; and
  • provide an opportunity to improve the health and productivity of our nation’s forests.

These objectives need to be reached in a way that is economically viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially acceptable. We must create new knowledge and make the best use possible of what we already know. We must be sure that we are getting the best scientific and technical knowledge into the hands of those who can make a difference. To be successful, we must build collaboration among several constituents, including the forest, energy, and agricultural communities, rural development entities, and various other key players in the environmental, political, and national security communities. The Wood Energy Community of Practice exists for that purpose.

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There are many factors that help determine the use woody biomass for energy production.  Below we consider the decision-making points involved in the process.  

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.