WGXC-90.7 FM

We can't do it on just wood any longer

Feb 25, 2011 10:11 am
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="A new report analyzes the possibilities for replacing current fuels with wood, and finds it won't work on a large scale. Image from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies website."][/caption]The Watershed Post has a story on a recent report about the forests of the northeast United States and whether they could ever replace fossil fuels as our main source of energy from the Millbrook-based Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, in which the outcome of trees vs. fuels doesn't look so good for the trees. "Under best-case scenarios, however, the energy generated sustainably from forest biomass in the Northeast could replace only 1.4% of the region’s total fossil fuel energy," WP quotes the Cary report. "There is a misconception that Northeastern forestland is a vast, untapped resource. This is simply not true. Unrealistic growth in biomass energy facilities could lead to serious degradation of forest resources. While forest biomass is part of the renewable energy toolkit, it is by no means a panacea." Still, using wood for certain energy purposes, such as heating commercial buildings, might help reduce carbon emissions enough to make it a good strategy, the report says.
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