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Synthesis manuscript for an Ecology & Society Special Feature on Telecoupling: A New Frontier for Global Sustainability

Esther Parish, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory , Anna Herzeberger, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, Michigan State University , Colin Phifer, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University , Virginia Dale, Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Funded from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bioenergy Technologies Office.

The U.S. biomass resource can be used several ways that provide domestic, renewable energy to users. Understanding the capacity of the biomass resource, its potential in energy markets, and the most economic utilization of biomass is important in policy development and project selection. This study analyzed the potential for biomass within markets and the competition between them.


Interest in using biomass feedstocks to produce power, liquid fuels, and chemicals in the U.S. is increasing. Central to determining the potential for these industries to develop is an understanding of the location, quantities, and prices of biomass resources. This paper describes the methodology used to estimate biomass quantities and prices for each state in the continental U.S. An Excel™ spreadsheet contains estimates of biomass quantities potentially available in five categories: mill wastes, urban wastes, forest residues, agricultural residues and energy crops.

The IPCC SRREN report addresses information needs of policymakers, the private sector and civil society on the potential of renewable energy sources for the mitigation of climate change, providing a comprehensive assessment of renewable energy technologies and related policy and financial instruments. The IPCC report was a multinational collaboration and synthesis of peer reviewed information: Reviewed, analyzed, coordinated, and integrated current high quality information.

One of the major objectives of the current expansion in bioenergy cropping is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions for environmental benefit. The cultivation of bioenergy and biofuel crops also affects biodiversity more directly, both positively and negatively.

Les G. Firbank