2021 journal article

Opportunities and barriers to forest biomass energy: A case study of four U. S. states


By: C. Galik n, M. Benedum*, M. Kauffman & D. Becker*

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: Forest biomass; Bioenergy; BioRAM; Semi-structured interview; State energy policy; Renewable energy
Source: Web Of Science
Added: May 24, 2021

Forest bioenergy is discussed in the literature as a potential mechanism to achieve multiple forest management and energy policy goals, and remains the subject of state and federal policy deliberations. In practice, forest bioenergy faces challenges from wavering public support and the availability of increasingly lower cost natural gas, wind, and solar energy. Here, we investigate the experience of stakeholders with forest bioenergy systems in four states—California, Florida, Minnesota, and New Hampshire—to better understand present-day barriers to and opportunities for continued operation of existing facilities and the potential deployment of new capacity. Building on insight generated from interviews with key informants at the national level, we conducted a comparative case study based on facility documents and interviews with facility managers, utility representatives, federal agency representatives, clean energy advocates, and other relevant stakeholders. We find that forest bioenergy often lacks a natural constituency willing or able to advocate on its behalf in policy deliberations, and that even proven facilities are vulnerable to fluctuations in state and federal policy. We conclude that shifting, uneven support for forest bioenergy impedes durable policy solutions, a condition that likely translates to limited opportunities for additional large, utility-scale facilities at the present time.