Protecting our Forests: Biomass Sources in the Northeast

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tree waste - sawmill byproducts, urban tree trimmings, and tops and limbs leftover from timber harvesting - can be a nearly carbon neutral energy source when burned for heat and electricity. However, burning whole trees can actually produce more greenhouse gases than even coal or oil - and 98.5% of mill waste is already being utilized. The Wilderness Society has compiled several maps showing the current biomass (trees and tree waste) energy plants in the Northeast - as well as the proposed ones that may be built in response to renewable energy goals set by state and federal governments - and approximate areas that will supply biomass to each plant.

As the maps show, there is already tremendous pressure on forests across much of the Northeast for biomass - and that pressure will likely increase as more facilities are brought online.