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Study: Forest-derived bioenergy results in no net carbon release

From Biomass Power and Thermal:

Does the utilization of wood for energy release as much pollution as energy from coal? Does it release more? Is it depleting our nation’s forests and destroying natural habitats?

A recently released study authored by nine scientists from multiple organizations and universities, including the U.S. Forest Service, may be poised to clear up some confusion.

Overall, the study has one major finding with a few main supporting conclusions. So what’s the bottom line? “As long as you manage forests sustainably, you can produce bioenergy and help address some of the issues surrounding climate change,” Malmsheimer says, segueing into the first supporting conclusion. “We can provide carbon benefits through both storage in forests and through substitution benefits, while providing all of the other benefits that forests normally provide society.”

The fact that it’s not necessarily either/or is an important point, he emphasizes. “We can still have the wildlife benefits, the recreation benefits and all the things people use forests for, all while still managing them for carbon.”

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