UCS: 680 million tons of biomass by 2030

By Staff | November 20, 2012

A report, titled “The Promise of Biomass,” published by the Union of Concerned Scientists demonstrates that the U.S. has the potential to dramatically increase our renewable energy supply though the use of biomass feedstock. Overall, the analysis determined that 680 million tons of biomass could be made available by 2030. That is enough biomass to produce either 54 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels or generate enough electricity to meet one-fifth of nationwide demand.

According to the study, the largest long-term opportunity to expand bioenergy production in the U.S. is from dedicated energy crops such as switchgrass and miscanthus as well as fast-growing trees like hybrid poplar and willow.

The report provides detailed maps for each of the different biomass sources it has identified. The maps describe where the UCS expects certain types of feedstock to be abundant. In addition to energy crops, the study addresses agricultural residues, waste materials, and forest biomass.