U.S. DOE Releases Billion-Ton Study Follow Up Report
by Lisa Gibson (Biomass Power and Thermal) A follow-up report to the U.S. DOE’s 2005 “Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply,” commonly referred to as the Billion-Ton Study, has found consistency with the original in terms of magnitude of resource potential under the same assumptions. But the follow up, “U.S. Billion-Ton Update: Biomass Supply for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry,” finds differences in specific feedstock availability and includes a number of elements the Billion-Ton Study did not.
A key outcome of the update is the estimation of feedstock supply curves by county for all major primary cropland and forest resources at the farm gate or forest roadside, according to the DOE.
…The forest residue potential in the updated report is determined to be somewhat less than in the original, as measured by the unused resources and by properly accounting for pulpwood and sawlog markets that provide the demand and the residue, the report states. The crop residue potential is also determined to be less because of the update’s consideration of soil carbon in crop residue removal, as well as the omission of any residue produced on land that is conventionally tilled. The energy crop potential, however, is estimated to be much greater because of higher planted acreage—a result of the spatially explicit land-use change modeling that was used. READ MORE and MORE (Biofuels Digest–The 10 Minute Version) and MORE (US Department of Energy) and MORE (Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework) Download 2005 Report Download 2011 Report
Excerpts from Biofuels Digests’s 10 Minute Version: …Where are the micro crops? Specifically, algae, which rates exactly two mentions, one of which is to explain that algae is excluded from the study. Seriously, how can the US Department of Energy take on a survey of biomass available in 2030 – with serious policy and public investment implications — without taking into account a view of how much micro crop the US will produce and harvest in 2030.
…Key finding #1: Plenty of feedstock to meet Renewable Fuel Standard goals through 2022
…Key finding #2: 2005 was correct, not overblown
…Key Finding #3: Energy crops, baby …Volumes are highly impacted by price, with the $60 per ton figure teasing out three times as much energy crop biomass as a price of $40 per ton.
…Key finding #4: Mixed prairie – death of a dream READ MORE