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Biomass To Energy in the United States Beyond Carbon Neutral Environmental and Energy Study Institute Washington, DC May 6, 2008. USA Biomass Who We Are/What We Do. Owners, operators, fuel providers, stakeholders Created in 1999 50 members, 20 states, 1600MW 1% of the nation’s power

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Biomass To Energy in the United StatesBeyond Carbon NeutralEnvironmental and Energy Study InstituteWashington, DCMay 6, 2008

usa biomass who we are what we do
USA BiomassWho We Are/What We Do
  • Owners, operators, fuel providers, stakeholders
  • Created in 1999
  • 50 members, 20 states, 1600MW
  • 1% of the nation’s power
  • According to DOE, Biomass has the potential to provide 14% of the nation’s power
scope of presentation
Scope of Presentation
  • Limited to biomass-to-energy (electricity)

not biofuels

not ethanol

not biogas

not MSW

  • Limited to “open-loop”

not “closed-loop”

not “inside the fence”

we are carbon neutral
We Are Carbon Neutral
  • Well accepted
  • Below ground--Fossil fuel production removes carbon from permanent geologic storage and adds it to the atmosphere as new carbon.
  • Above ground--Biomass takes carbon that is part of natural carbon cycle, releases it through combustion, after which it returns through photosynthesis and the cycle begins again.
beyond carbon neutrality biomass ghg abatement
Beyond Carbon NeutralityBiomass GHG Abatement
  • Increases amount of carbon that is stored on a sustainable basis—thinning and use of residuals contributes to improved forest health and fire resiliency.
  • Biomass energy changes both timing and mix of carbon (oxidized vs reduced) emitted to atmosphere.
  • “Reduced carbon” (CH4) is 25 times more potent than oxidized carbon on an instantaneous basis.
  • In the absence of biomass energy, the fate of wood and ag wastes is through decomposition, incomplete forest fire combustion, and landfilling.
california as a case study
California as a Case Study
  • California biomass sector looked at climate benefits of its industry.
  • 7.8 million tons (4.6 million BDT) per year.
  • 4 million tons of avoided CO2 from fossil fuel combustion.
  • 3.6 million tons of biogenic reductions.
  • Almost one ton of CO2e for each ton of fuel!
national potential for ghg abatement using california data
National Potential for GHG Abatement Using California Data
  • Currently, 22 million tons of wood and ag wastes are converted to energy in the US.
  • This conversion represents 10 million tons of CO2e avoided fossil fuel emissions AND 10 million tons of biogenic emissions.
  • The current industry reduces 20 million tons annually of CO2ewithout any additional capacity.
how can congress encourage the biomass industry
How can Congress Encourage The Biomass Industry
  • Recognize the important and unique benefits of biomass to energy
  • Level the playing field by providing tax credit equity
  • Repeal IRS “netting rule”
  • Extend placed in-service date
  • Maintain Section 45 benefits for existing plants
  • Value GHG benefits


Bob Cleaves

Chairman, USA Biomass