Tue., February 14, 2012 2:57pm (EST)

Biomass Benefits Could Take Years
By Josephine Bennett
Updated: 2 years ago

MACON, Ga.  —  
Georgia Biomass wood pellet plant in Waycross (image courtesy Georgia Biomass)
Georgia Biomass wood pellet plant in Waycross (image courtesy Georgia Biomass)
A new study by the Biomass Energy Resource Center finds the positive impacts of biomass will be a long time in coming. It also finds forests here in Georgia will feel the effects.

The study says it will take up to 50 years for the biomass industry to become, “carbon neutral.” That’s because creating biomass means cutting trees down, thereby removing their capacity to suck up harmful carbon dioxide in the air.

David Carr is with the Southern Environmental Law Center, the group that requested the study. He says as the biomass industry expands, forests in the Southeast will be impacted.

“The largest pellet plant, in the U.S. at least, is in Waycross, Georgia. It produces 750,000 tons per year and that facility is owned in part by European utilities.”

The study took into account the impact of 25 proposed or existing biomass facilities in Georgia.