Research

A tool for better understanding the climate impacts of energy production from woody biomass

Backed by numerous national and global studies, climate and renewable energy experts and advocates have long pointed to biomass energy as offering a potentially significant contribution to long-term, sustainable energy supply.

However, in several regions of the United States, proposals to build new biomass power plants have met with stiff opposition, with questions raised regarding the climate benefit of woody biomass energy production.

To help address these questions, SEI is developing a spreadsheet tool capable of assessing and clearly presenting the timeline of climate impacts, both GHG emissions and climate-forcing, of using a range of woody biomass sources for electricity production, building upon the foundation of the Land-Use Change Emissions (LUCE) model developed by SEI with NRDC support.

Our overall objective with this effort is to develop an educational tool that can inform ongoing biomass energy discussions at both at the government agency level and with civil society at large, and through doing so, achieve greater consensus on the role of U.S. biomass energy in mitigating global climate change.

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