global bioenergy supply chain intelligence

Biomass: Getting to Renewable

Not all biomass feedstocks are created equal, especially when it comes to the definition of “renewable.”  Existing legislation provides some guidance, but emerging sustainability standards will likely redefine renewable biomass.

Renewable BiomassBiomass has become a bit of a dirty word of late.  While most agree that, as a form of energy, it represents an important alternative to fossil fuels, biomass (both for heat and power, and fuel) has attracted some serious criticism.

To date, most biomass legislative efforts have focused predominately on promoting the use of corn, soy, and other commodity crops to produce liquid fuels.  The resulting food v. fuel debate coupled with lingering indirect land use change questions have tempered the hopes of even the most optimistic ethanol advocates, resulting in a growing emphasis on second and third generation “sustainable” biomass sources (e.g. non-food, cellulosic, and algae).

Biomass for power generation, on the other hand, has focused primarily on wood, wood residues, and milling waste, which raises concerns about deforestation.

Whether food v. fuel, indirect land use change, or carbon accounting, the criticisms have come from far and wide.  Absent these issues, biomass would be a slam dunk.

Even so, in the face of sleeker and more clean-techie approaches to addressing energy security issues, foreign oil dependence, and diminishing sources of conventional energy — e.g. solar, wind, smart grid, etc. — many argue that biomass is not efficient (read “renewable”) enough.  This relative inefficiency acts as an anchor on its increased utilization.

As the bio-economy grows, the question confronting the policy world is simply: whether biomass is renewable enough?

The trouble is, it really depends.

It’s the feedstock, stupid

Biomass is generally regarded as a renewable resource, but not all feedstocks are created equal, and herein lies the challenge.  Accordingly, questions surrounding biomass’ ‘renewableness’ has serious implications for bio-based markets.

As regulations across the country impose aggressive RPS mandates and low carbon fuel standards, climate legislation worms its way through Congress, and the EPA steps up efforts to regulate greenhouse gases and implement RFS 2.0, it appears that other sources of biomass are set to take off, including: non-commodity crops, non-food crops, crop residues, wood wastes and byproducts, animal manure, and other sources.  Many of these feedstocks appear to fall under the most pervasive “renewable biomass” definitions contained in existing legislation.

Federal definitions of biomass


Creating catch-all biomass definitions is tricky and results in confusion when assessing the virtues of various feedstocks.  According to this report produced by the Congressional Research Service, a total of 14 definitions of biomass have been included in legislation and the tax code since 2004.

Title IX of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (the Farm Bill) and Title II of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) both contain extensive definitions of renewable biomass, but each defines the term differently.

Generally speaking, for feedstocks to fall within the category of renewable biomass in both bills, it must be an infinite feedstock that may be replenished in a short time frame.

The Farm Bill focuses on invasive species and trimmings from public lands and organic matter available on a recurring basis, waste materials, and byproducts available on non-federal lands.

EISA prohibits the removal of biomass from federal lands, but includes (for the purpose of Renewable Portfolio Standard eligibility): thinnings from non-federal lands, trees from actively managed plantations (both public and private), dedicated energy crops grown on nonforested land, waste, biomass obtained from the immediate vicinity of buildings, and algae.

Incorporating sustainability

The problem with biomass legislation to date is that policymakers have taken a piecemeal approach to defining biomass resources when responding to various challenges: energy insecurity (EISA), climate change mitigation (ACES and Kerry-Boxer), and rural development (Farm Bill).

While serious questions remain about how to characterize biomass energy so that the sustainable benefits and renewable properties are fully realized, a more sophisticated approach is needed in order to attract future investment.

Although sustainability standards are beginning to emerge, they remain voluntary to date (see Emerging Biopower and Biofuel Sustainability Standards).  Biomass will continue to be an important component of any renewable energy strategy going forward and ensuring that its increased utilization has little impact on the environment will be of central importance in the future.

Images: Flickr/Stuck in Customs; Flickr/Miracle Moods

More from Biomass Hub:
Tagged as: , , , , , ,

1 Comment


  1. Senators Introduce Bill Refining Definition of Renewable | BIOMASS INTEL

Leave a Response

  • frostwire downloaden kostenlos
  • online gratis liedjes downloaden
  • film downloaden welke
  • glee downloaden gratis
  • playstation 1 spiele downloaden
  • hardlopen mp3 gratis downloaden
  • films downloaden op iphone 4
  • powerdvd 11 kostenlos downloaden
  • skype downloaden op je blackberry
  • flash reader download
  • battlefield downloaden free
  • call of duty downloaden gratis
  • musik für iphone downloaden kostenlos
  • kapla boek downloaden
  • nds downloaden spellen
  • hyves desktop downloaden blackberry
  • jailbreak 4.1 downloaden
  • harry potter 6 zum downloaden
  • die sims 3 downloads vollversion kostenlos
  • like a g6 downloaden gratis
  • pokemon games zum downloaden
  • windows live mail downloaden voor xp
  • iphone firmware 4.3.3 downloaden
  • microsoft powerpoint zum downloaden kostenlos
  • metin2 p server schnell downloaden
  • spelletjes downloaden htc desire
  • fifa 11 illegaal downloaden
  • muziek downloaden samsung galaxy s 2
  • straaljager game downloaden
  • urban terror maps downloads
  • blackberry app world downloaden voor blackberry
  • song downloaden von youtube
  • spiele downloaden chip online
  • software downloaden ipad
  • foto downloaden mac
  • kostenlos mp3 charts downloaden
  • windows movie maker downloaden free
  • glee seizoen 4 downloaden
  • spellen downloaden playstation
  • gratis just dance 3 downloaden
  • winrar kostenlos downloaden freeware
  • app download htc wildfire
  • james bond demo downloaden
  • 6611799293
  • thema's downloaden samsung star 2
  • msn kostenlos downloaden xp
  • msn messenger downloaden 8 nederlands
  • n-tv videos downloaden
  • wann ist musik downloaden illegal
  • running coach evy downloaden
  • photoscape kostenlos downloaden für mac
  • microsoft points generator downloaden
  • powerpoint kostenlos downloaden windows 7
  • photoscape downloaden gratis
  • msn live 8.5 downloaden nederlands
  • kostenlos guild wars downloaden
  • paint download 2012
  • hoe whatsapp downloaden android
  • cod 2 kostenlos downloaden
  • whatsapp op computer downloaden gratis
  • geluid downloaden van youtube mac
  • apps downloaden android
  • filmpjes downloaden en opslaan
  • skat kostenlos downloaden win7
  • outlook bilder downloaden proxy
  • gratis ringtones downloaden blackberry
  • 3ds games downloaden en spelen
  • youtube op blackberry downloaden
  • youtube downloaden en opslaan
  • tomtom downloaden voor android
  • window live messenger downloaden free
  • video website downloaden mac
  • facebook eigene dateien downloaden
  • downloaden mislukt fout bij het downloaden van video
  • pdf adobe reader downloaden gratis
  • photoshop downloaden kostenlos deutsch
  • programma downloaden om films te downloaden
  • downloaden twilight breaking dawn
  • pokemon black downloaden pc
  • photoscape kostenlos downloaden 3.5 deutsch
  • podcast downloaden voor ipod
  • online muziek kopen downloaden
  • super mario ds downloaden
  • legaal muziek downloaden programma
  • ios 6 downloaden chip
  • games downloaden mediamarkt
  • whatsapp downloaden e72
  • firmware downloaden nds
  • nieuwe downloaden
  • 3 ds games downloaden
  • worms 3 kostenlos downloaden
  • podcast downloaden voor android
  • msn 9.0 downloaden mac
  • nieuwste versie excel downloaden
  • norman security suite downloaden
  • free muziek downloaden iphone
  • musik downloaden mit mac
  • teamviewer kostenlos downloaden vollversion
  • antivir 9 kostenlos downloaden chip
  • gothic 2 mods kostenlos downloaden
  • video downloaden safari mac
  • windows live messenger downloaden htc
  • savegames xbox 360 downloaden
  • spiele vollversion downloaden gratis
  • schneller downloaden mit emule
  • 7438203916
  • cloister black downloaden
  • publisher 2003 downloaden nederlands
  • muziek downloaden you
  • nummers downloaden mobiel
  • live messenger downloaden for mac
  • windows editor download
  • waar dvd covers downloaden
  • skype downloaden 5
  • adblock plus chrome download
  • downloaden nieuwsgroepen lukt niet meer
  • divx web videos downloaden
  • thema downloaden blackberry 8520
  • photoshop elements 7.0 downloaden
  • een link downloaden
  • mario spiele kostenlos downloaden nintendo ds
  • epub kostenlos downloaden deutsch
  • android market downloaden lukt niet
  • downloaden naar picasa grijs
  • ftd muziek downloaden
  • worms armageddon kostenlos downloaden vollversion
  • demo's downloaden op ps3
  • 4014444003
  • picnik kostenlos downloaden deutsch
  • nokia pc suite downloaden nederlands
  • photoshop gratis downloaden forum
  • rollercoaster tycoon 2 kopen downloaden
  • mozilla kostenlos downloaden deutsch
  • mp3 via google downloaden
  • sims 3 beestenbende downloaden gratis mac
  • 4927053164
  • microsoft word downloaden chip
  • top 40 downloaden op je mobiel
  • google downloaden 2012
  • internetseite zum downloaden von youtube
  • belastingaangifte 2009 gegevens downloaden
  • rollercoaster tycoon downloaden voor mac
  • free winrar downloaden windows 7
  • photoshop freeware downloaden
  • xiii kostenlos downloaden vollversion pc
  • directx 10 downloaden windows 7
  • gratis downloaden antivirus programma
  • youtube filmpje downloaden vlc
  • full tilt poker downloaden gratis
  • legal downloaden von youtube
  • whatsapp downloaden vodafone 555 blue
  • sony vegas 9.0. downloaden
  • geluiden email downloaden
  • jailbreak spiele downloaden
  • music downloaden from youtube
  • opera mini downloaden
  • filme downloaden frei
  • photoshop gratis downloaden windows xp
  • hamachi downloaden kostenlos
  • alle sims 2 uitbreidingspakketten downloaden
  • safari downloaden voor windows
  • youtube filmpje downloaden firefox
  • word downloaden free
  • 4071919778
  • laatste nieuwe films downloaden gratis
  • kostenlos downloaden word 2007
  • 6430485055
  • neues android update downloaden
  • wo ios 4.3 downloaden
  • alben downloaden illegal
  • saw 3 downloaden
  • movie maker downloaden voor windows 7
  • gratis spellen downloaden xbox 360
  • ati radeon treiber downloaden
  • spelletjes downloaden ipad
  • adobe downloads flash player
  • desktop kalender zum downloaden
  • 3583188075
  • itunes iphone downloaden
  • gratis muziek downloaden lg
  • ken park download
  • spotify downloaden betalen
  • nintendo wii downloaden
  • nintendo 3ds spiele downloaden und spielen
  • musik legal downloaden kostenlos mp3
  • downloaden app store zonder creditcard
  • von youtube downloaden divx
  • ps3key games downloaden
  • musik downloaden samsung galaxy s2
  • android downloaden mislukt
  • pokemon fire red downloaden voor pc
  • internet explorer 9 downloaden vista
  • windows directx downloaden
  • picasa nieuwste versie downloaden
  • film downloaden afspelen op tv
  • nero zum downloaden kostenlos
  • sims 2 illegaal downloaden
  • nieuwste versie vlc downloaden
  • downloaden vooraf ingevulde aangifte 2010
  • rtl xl app downloaden
  • sketchup 7.1 downloaden gratis
  • win xp zum downloaden
  • codec windows 7 downloaden
  • skype downloaden mac gratis
  • fifa online 2 downloaden
  • codec windows 7 downloaden
  • msn downloaden macbook air
  • i am sam downloaden
  • msn 9.5 plus downloaden
  • filme legal downloaden und kostenlos
  • minecraft kostenlos downloaden beta 1.8.1
  • von google books downloader
  • picasa downloaden vista
  • magic musik maker downloaden vollversion
  • the sims 1 download free full version
  • downloaden met pirate
  • illegaal fifa 12 downloaden
  • eu logo download
  • itunes nieuwe downloaden
  • picasa heel album downloaden
  • ubuntu mms stream downloaden
  • facebook chat smileys downloaden
  • flugsimulator spiele kostenlos downloaden
  • installous für iphone downloaden
  • muziek online downloaden mp3
  • 4story kostenlos downloaden chip
  • radio hörspiele zum downloaden
  • neustes icq downloaden kostenlos
  • 9381853364
  • super mario world downloaden kostenlos
  • scratch kostenlos downloaden deutsch
  • grabit downloaden nederlands
  • uitzending gemist downloaden mac 2012
  • bridge spelen downloaden
  • mozilla firefox downloaden 5
  • downloaden glee
  • rock musik downloaden
  • word lettertypes downloaden
  • app world downloaden zonder paypal
  • mozilla firefox downloaden nederlands
  • dreamweaver kostenlos testversion downloaden
  • divx zum downloaden kostenlos
  • metin2 p server downloaden deutsch
  • trailer musik zum downloaden
  • visuele effecten itunes downloaden
  • youtube filmpjes downloaden kick
  • filme downloaden deutsch kostenlos
  • gratis winrar downloaden voor xp
  • gta 4 kostenlos downloaden handy
  • lernwerkstatt 7 zum downloaden
  • downloaden van outlook express
  • gratis word download 2010
  • ondertiteling downloaden hoe werkt dat
  • app downloaden lukt niet
  • 469928968
  • films top 100 downloaden
  • java downloaden voor google chrome
  • hotfix downloaden windows 7
  • logic pro kostenlos downloaden
  • nieuwsgroepen downloaden ubuntu
  • word publisher downloaden free
  • minecraft gratis downloaden zonder account
  • ndr 2 videos downloaden
  • muziek studio downloaden gratis
  • whatsapp voor ipad downloaden
  • facebook downloaden gratis
  • apple software 4.3.3 downloaden
  • spiele downloaden seiten
  • mafia 2 kostenlos downloaden deutsch
  • thema downloaden ps3
  • youtube filme downloaden deutsch
  • metin2 cheats kostenlos downloaden
  • apple quicktime download
  • wii firmware 4.3 downloaden
  • sims downloaden op pc gratis
  • buienradar app android downloaden
  • tv kostenlos downloaden deutsch
  • liedje downloaden voor blackberry
  • wordfeud downloaden for android