|Dr. Jay O'Laughlin holding...wood.|
The last blog post showed you biomass harvesting up close and personal...in contrast, this presentation is a great view of the biomass energy issue from 40,000 feet, and answers all the basic questions related to the industry.
- Who wants forest biomass, and how much is it worth?
- Can foresters and landowners turn "slash and trash" into cash?
- How far can biomass be economically transported?
- What two factors have recently curtailed or put on hold many biomass operations and projects?
- How does the government attempt to help biomass energy be more competitive with fossil fuels?
- How and why do different government energy policies and programs, such as EISA, the Farm Bill, the 2007 Energy Act, and BCAP, define and exclude different categories of biomass?
- What significant capital cost advantage do most biomass CHP projects have over wind power projects?
- What is the "triple win" of forest biomass utilization?
- Since wood can be converted to liquid transportation fuel, shouldn't woody biomass be worth more than it is?
- What are the approximate economic multipliers of the biomass energy industry?
- What is the US Energy Information Administration forecasting for biomass energy production over the next 25 years?
- What role will short-rotation woody crops play in this future biomass supply?
- What social benefits of biomass energy production actually exceed the value of the energy production itself?
Each of these questions is a topic of much study and variation over the different regions of the country, but Jay provides the "short and sweet" answer for each, at least in terms of current conditions in the Northwest. While the economics are slightly different here in the Northeast (biomass tends to be worth a little more here, because of the higher energy prices we get to pay), and Jay doesn't go into the different conditions that pertain to in-woods harvesting and chipping versus biomass residuals, the basic fundamentals as explained in the presentation apply just about anywhere.
So, if you want to bring yourself up to speed on the topic, or just need to check your assumptions, you couldn't get a better overview for an hour's worth of your time. Click on the link below...
Publications referenced in the presentation are: