R&D Seed Grant: Techniques for Establishing Woody Biomass Plantations on Surface Mines as Feedstocks for energy Production

Grants and Contracts Details

Description

The use of woody biomass for energy production has gained much attention recently not only for its potential as a low-cost supply of power, but also for the potential environmental and rural developmental benefits it offers. Not withstanding, utilization of a u.s. derived energy source is of great importance for offsetting our dependence on foreign fuels. From an environmental standpoint, woody biomass may be a globally important mitigation option to reduce the rate of CO2 buildup in the atmosphere by sequestering carbon and by decreasing the use of non-renewable fossil fuels such as coal and oil. In addition, development of biomass plantations on surface mine lands in Kentucky is of particular interest as a means to facilitate the restoration of these degraded lands, offset emissions and local impacts from fossilfired power generation (Hg, S02 and NOx), reduce social outrage for harvesting mature hardwood stands on existing forests, and to provide economic benefits in the form of jobs and products to the Appalachian coal region. All of these goals present opportunities for the citizens of the Commonwealth and are closely aligned with several [5, 6, 16, 26, 32, 42 and 51] recommendations outlined in Governor Fletcher's 2005 Comprehensive Strategy. We believe that surface mined lands present an ideal location for establishing biomass/bioenergy plantations in Kentucky and that research on maximizing productivity on these sites via intensive forestry management practices will demonstrate this capacity.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date10/1/076/30/10

Funding

  • KY Office of Energy Policy: $174,166.00

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