Preface

The Department of Energy, through the Biomass Program in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, has contracted with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to prepare this Biomass Energy Data Book. The purpose of this data book is to draw together, under one cover, biomass data from diverse sources to produce a comprehensive document that supports anyone with an interest or stake in the biomass industry. Given the increasing demand for energy, policymakers and analysts need to be well-informed about current biomass energy production activity and the potential contribution biomass resources and technologies can make toward meeting the nation's energy demands. This is the fourth edition of the Biomass Energy Data Book and it is only available online in electronic format. Because there are many diverse online sources of biomass information, the Data Book provides links to many of those valuable information sources. Biomass energy technologies used in the United States include an extremely diverse array of technologies - from wood or pellet stoves used in homes to large, sophisticated biorefineries producing multiple products. For some types of biomass energy production, there are no annual inventories or surveys on which to base statistical data. For some technology areas there are industry advocacy groups that track and publish annual statistics on energy production capacity, though not necessarily actual production or utilization. The Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration (EIA) produces annual estimates of biomass energy utilization and those estimates are included in this data book. Information from industry groups are also provided to give additional detail. An effort has been made to identify the best sources of information on capacity, production and utilization of most of the types of biomass energy currently being produced in this country. It is certain, however, that not all biomass energy contributions have been identified. With the rapid expansion in biomass technologies that is occurring, bioenergy production information may not yet be available, or may be proprietary.

It is even more difficult to track the diverse array of biomass resources being used as feedstocks for biomass energy production. Since most of the biomass resources currently being used for energy or bioproducts are residuals from industrial, agricultural or forestry activities, there is no way to systematically inventory biomass feedstock collection and use and report it in standard units. All biomass resource availability and utilization information available in the literature are estimates, not inventories of actual collection and utilization. Biomass utilization information is derived from biomass energy production data, but relies on assumptions about energy content and conversion efficiencies for each biomass type and conversion technology. Biomass availability data relies on understanding how much of a given biomass type (e.g., corn grain) is produced, alternate demands for that biomass type, economic profitability associated with each of those alternate demands, environmental impacts of collection of the biomass, and other factors such as incentives. This book presents some of the information needed for deriving those estimates, as well as providing biomass resource estimates that have been estimated by either ORNL staff or other scientists. In all cases it should be recognized that estimates are not precise and different assumptions will change the results.

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U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Biomass Energy Data Book