the benefits of wood-based bioenergy all depend on what is harvested, where it is harvested from, how it is harvested, how it is transported, how it is utilized as an energy source, the time horizon considered, and the alternative fate of the feedstock material. An energy portfolio that includes wood-based bioenergy is a better long-term strategy than other viable alternatives.
Much of our nation’s energy (both liquid transportation fuels and electric power) is derived from “fossil fuels,” which include oil, coal, and natural gas.
There are several drawbacks to these energy sources:
- They are non-renewable resources. Once existing deposits are used up, they are gone. Through new technology we have gotten better at finding and accessing more of these deposits, which has kept supplies plentiful, but ultimately they are finite.
- Their use converts carbon stored the earth to carbon dioxide which is released into the atmosphere. Rising concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere changes global climate, with a myriad of consequences.
- Prices are unstable and usually climbing, impacting all areas of our lives and economy and our nation’s foreign policy.
- Extraction (e.g. mining, offshore drilling, fracking, etc.) can harm the environment, especially if there is an accident.
The advantages of bioenergy is that it can be renewable, locally…
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