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Title: EERC Center for Biomass Utilization 2008-2010. Phases I-III

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects nonhydro renewable electric energy increases of 140% and liquid transportation biofuels growing by 32,200 barrels a day between 2012 and 2040 (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2014). This is the EIA base case scenario, and this outlook could be a low estimate depending on the many assumptions involved in making such projections, not the least of which are climate change and the resultant legislation. The climate change postulate is based on increasing levels of CO2 being introduced into the atmosphere through anthropogenic activity such as fossil fuel combustion for energy use. Renewable energy, and biomass conversion to energy in particular, is a net-zero CO2 emission generator. When biomass is converted to energy, it emits CO2; however, this CO2 is balanced in a cycle where the production of biomass removes CO2 from the atmosphere for growth and then releases it back into the atmosphere to be taken up by new growth of biomass feedstocks for energy. In comparison, fossil fuels are examples of CO2 that has been removed from the atmosphere and sequestered and which, when converted to energy, is a new addition to the atmospheric levels of CO2, which hasmore » been linked to climate change. While recent advances in technology used for extracting oil and gas from tight formations have increased the availability of fossil fuels for energy, the end game needs to focus on providing sustainable energy sources for the United States as well as the world. If, in the future, legislation is enacted that places a fee on atmospheric CO2 emissions, this may make the use of biomass for energy more economically attractive, increasing its use. Research that focuses on the future sustainability of energy production is part of the answer to bringing about game-changing technologies that can provide energy in a timely, reliable, sustainable fashion.« less
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  1. Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Energy & Environmental Research Center, Grand Forks, ND (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States