Biomass Energy in Pennsylvania: Implications for Air Quality, Carbon Emissions, and Forests
70+ pages of analysis – deals with PA specifically but the issues are very general.
Relates also to burning garbage/trash.
“… burning wood and other biological materials for “biomass energy” is widely promoted as a cleaner and low-carbon alternative to fossil fuels. Supported by an array of renewable energy incentives and widely marketed as sustainable and environmentally sound, biomass energy facilities ranging in size from institutional heating boilers to 100 megawatt (MW) electrical plants are being built at an unprecedented rate across the United States. Often missing in the rush to take advantage of renewable energy grants and subsidies, however, is discussion of how biomass combustion may affect air quality, greenhouse gas emissions and forests. Air quality regulators know that biomass boilers emit as much or more key air pollutants as fossil fuel boilers, giving them the potential to affect air quality. Scientists increasingly recognize that biomass energy, which is chiefly fueled with wood, is a significant source of greenhouse gases that could put large new demands on forests if growth continues unchecked. Still, the federal government and many states, including Pennsylvania, have prioritized rapid expansion of biomass energy capacity with little consideration of potential impacts. While pollutant emissions, greenhouse gases, and forest impacts from biomass energy are recognized by many scientists and regulators, they are only beginning to be considered at a policy level.”