Manomet and its partners have released the results of a six-month study to better understand the implications of using wood for energy in Massachusetts, titled “Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study.” The study was conducted for the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study: (June 2010 report by Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts)Full Report [5MB]
Main Results: The study found that, after 40 years, the net GHG emissions from biomass burned for electricity are still worse than coal, even when considering forest regrowth, and that biomass emissions are worse than natural gas even after 90 years. It also found that biomass, burned in small scale heating applications or in combined heat and power (CHP) industrial applications is worse than natural gas, but better than burning oil.
The emissions of biomass are very likely to be higher than estimated in that report: See teh two reviews below by Dr. Mary booth and by Massachussets Forest Watch:
- Review of the Manomet Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study by Dr. Mary Booth July 2010 report showing how the Manomet study understates GHG emissions from biomass.
- Massachusetts Forest Watch comments on how the Manomet study understates biomass impacts (July 2010)