There are a number of reasons to pursue development of a number of forms of bioenergy. Among them are the potential contribution toward greater energy self-sufficiency, carbon neutrality and economic revitalization of farm and forest-based industries and rural communities. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly evident that the bandwagon drive toward bioenergy development must be accompanied by equally fervent attention to details. Specifically: Development of mechanisms for achieving the levels of biomass supply assumed in recent national studies must be pursued with the same vigor as establishment of incentives for bioenergy production. To do otherwise risks unacceptable costs and/or failure in achieving renewable energy goals, and potentially severe consequences to established industries. Particular care must be exercised by policy makers to ensure that incentives to encourage development of a new bioenergy industry do not impair the viability of long-established and vital industries such as the pulp and paper and composite panel industries. Environmental implications of bioenergy development must be considered upfront to avoid unintended consequences and a loss of public support. One priority should be to vigorously pursue closed-loop systems in order to markedly reduce water consumption in liquid biofuels production.
|Published - Mar 1 2009