United Kingdom report estimates greenhouse gas emissions associated with using biomass sourced from North America

The United Kingdom Department of Energy and Climate Change recently released a report describing results of a life cycle analysis investigating carbon emissions associated with using biomass sourced from North American forests to produce electricity. The analysis was conducing using a calculator, known as the Bioenergy Emissions and Counterfactual Model, that was developed by the DECC.

The report describing the calculator and results of the analysis is titled Life Cycle Impacts of Biomass Electricity in 2020: Scenarios for Assessing the Greenhouse Gas Impacts and Energy Input Requirements of Using North American Woody Biomass for Electricity Generation in the UK.

In the analysis, the authors investigated a variety of scenarios associated with the use of wood pellets sourced from North America, including current and potential future scenarios ranging from those that could happen to those that are possible but implausible. Results for the scenarios differ depending on assumptions about type of feedstock, forest type harvested, the counterfactual, and other factors.

Copies of the technical report, the calculator, and a user guide can be downloaded from the DECC website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/life-cycle-impacts-of-biomass-electricity-in-2020. A summary of the report is available to NCASI member companies on the NCASI website.