Biomass Issues Evolution Since Last Year

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Biomass Issues  Evolution Since Last Year Powered By Docstoc
					2011 FIA User Group Meeting
March 8-10, Sacramento, CA
         Brad Upton, NCASI
Federal GHG Legislation Overview
 June 2009: Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill passed
    in House of Representatives
   March 2010: Kerry-Boxer cap and trade bill stalled in
   April 2010: Kerry-Lieberman-Graham crafted less
    sweeping bill, but did not gain traction
   July 2010: After several attempts at more narrow bills
    the Senate dropped efforts
   No climate legislation is expected from 112th Congress
EPA Actions Towards GHG
Regulation (highlights)
 December 2009: Endangerment Finding – EPA
  concludes GHGs endanger public health, welfare
 April 2010: Tailpipe Emission Standards – EPA issues
  new vehicle GHG emission standards applicable to
  new cars and trucks (equivalent to 35.5 mpg)
 June 2010: Tailoring Rule – EPA publishes rule to
  regulate GHGs from stationary sources under PSD and
  Title V programs
   Biogenic CO2 treated no differently from fossil CO2
    Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2) & Energy
    Independence and Security Act (EISA)
 Finalized December, 2010
 Includes specific life cycle GHG emission thresholds for
    renewable fuels (including land use change)
   Focused on agricultural biomass rather than forest biomass
   Established restrictions on the types feedstocks, and types
    of land used to grow them, that can be used to make
    renewable fuel
   Forest biomass from federal lands and from silvicultural
    plots cultivated after December 2007 not eligible
   RESULT: Most sources of woody biomass are excluded
Biogenic CO2 “Carbon Neutrality”
• An attribute of the biogenic carbon cycle that
  enables the GHG mitigation potential of bioenergy
• There are several different meanings given to the
  term “carbon neutrality”
• The controversy surrounding biomass carbon
  neutrality is partly caused by a lack of a common
  understanding of the meaning of the term
   The “neutral”                             VS      Carbon transfers from
   biomass carbon cycle                               geological reserves

                                                                     Non-biogenic CO2
Biogenic CO2

                  Biomass              CO2

                                                                     Fossil Fuel
    Biogenic carbon is part of a relatively
      rapid natural cycle that impacts               Fossil fuel combustion transfers
   atmospheric CO2 only if the cycle is out       geologic carbon into the atmosphere. It
                 of balance                                 is a one-way process      6
Six Different Concepts of Carbon Neutrality
 Inherent carbon neutrality
    The inherent property of biomass reflecting its being part of a natural cycle which, if in
     balance, has a zero impact on atmospheric greenhouse gases
 Carbon cycle neutrality
    A property of biomass when it is obtained under conditions where forest carbon stocks
     remain stable over a given area and time, meaning that the forest carbon cycle is in
 Life cycle neutrality
    A property of a product or product system that has zero net emissions over the life cycle
 Offset neutrality
    A property of a product or product system whose emissions have been offset via obtaining
     reductions accomplished outside of the product’s lifecycle
 Substitution neutrality
    A property of a product or product system whose life cycle emissions are equal to those for
     all other likely substitute products or product systems
 Accounting neutrality
    The use of an emission factor of zero for biogenic CO2 because the impacts of biogenic
     carbon flows are being characterized by calculating changes in stocks of carbon stored in
     forests and forest products
 Carbon Stocks/Land Use Changes
 Fargione, et al. (Science 319, 1235 (2008)) discussed carbon
  debt from land use change due to biomass demand
 Searchinger, et al. (Science 326, 527 (2009)) assert that
  characterizing biogenic CO2 as carbon neutral is improper
  if land use change is not considered
 MANOMET study (June 2010) developed concept of carbon
  debt based on a plot level analysis of substitution impacts –
  carbon withdrawals from harvesting are “paid back” over
  time as regrowth occurs
 Sustainable Forest Management: In any given year carbon
  stock depletion on harvested stands is offset by carbon
  accumulation on undisturbed stands
In forests managed sustainably, carbon losses due to harvest are
offset by carbon uptake by growing trees.

    Harvested Area

Where To Draw Analysis Boundaries?
  Internationally accepted life cycle analysis (LCA)
   standards require the accounting boundaries to extend
   upstream to the point where “elementary flows” enter
   the system from the environment
  This accounting approach considers flow of CO2 from
   atmosphere into growing biomass, and flow of CO2
   back to environment when biomass is combusted
  Supports use of zero emission factor for biomass
   combustion as long as carbon stock/land use change is
EPA Call for Information (CFI) on
GHG Emissions from Bioenergy
 Goal: Determine if biogenic CO2 is carbon neutral
 Selection of questions from EPA CFI:
    Does IPCC approach suggest biomass CO2 is carbon
    Can IPCC approach be applied at smaller scales?
    Request for alternative accounting approaches
    How to compare biomass energy to fossil energy
 Unfortunately, EPA has not defined its concept of
 “carbon neutrality”
EPA CFI on Bioenergy…
 Does IPCC approach suggest biomass CO2 is carbon
   IPCC approach tracks changes in carbon stocks on land
    and assigns zero emission factor for biomass combustion
   IPCC methods are based on “accounting neutrality” of
    biomass carbon
   Data on forest carbon stocks illustrates that, in the U.S.,
    net flux of carbon is into forest biomass rather than into
    the atmosphere
Timberland Growth/Removal Ratio By Region

                                                                                                             Rocky Mtn
             2.00                                                                                                             Pacific
             1.00                                                                                                    1.37
                                                                  1.22                        1.05
                                  1976                        1986                        1996                         2006

                                         North             South             Rocky Mtn                Pacific Coast

 • Growth-removal ratio is calculated based on annual growth on timberland divided by annual removal as of reported years. No specific data for
 growth and removal in between reported years.

 Source: Forest Resources of the United States, 2007 – Table 36
EPA CFI on Bioenergy…
 Can IPCC approach be applied at smaller (than
 national) scale?
   At the national scale, “ownership” of forest biomass is
    defined by national boundaries – data is available
   At the facility level, it is not possible to link wood users
    to specific areas or land
   However, it may be possible to apply IPCC’s guidelines at
    the regional scale (e.g., state)
   Some states (e.g., Washington) and regions (e.g.,
    Western Climate Initiative) have adopted this approach
    (“carbon cycle” biomass neutrality)
 EPA CFI on Bioenergy…
 EPA request for alternative accounting approaches
    IPCC approach (accounting neutrality) can be used in
     emissions reporting
    Comparative assessments can be used to identify policies that
     ensure stable or increasing forest carbon stocks
    Comparative assessments can also be used to evaluate the
     difference in net carbon emissions for two different scenarios
     (e.g., two different fuels, two different policies, etc.)
        Comparative assessments typically include other life cycle emissions
         and are described as comparative carbon footprints
EPA CFI on Bioenergy…
 How should biomass energy be compared to fossil
   Comparative carbon footprint studies are required
       Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) limited to carbon and GHGs
   Land use change should be addressed
   Standard methods are under development by ISO and
   Benefits of forest biomass-based fuels, where forest
    carbon stocks are maintained, have been documented
Recent LCA Analyses of Biopower
         Study                 Biofuel        Offset fuel GHG saved

 Froese et al. 2010     Forestry Residuals    Coal        100%

 Mann & Spath 2001      Wood Residuals        Coal        123%

 Robinson et al. 2003   Forest/Ag Residuals   Coal        ~95%

 Pehnt 2006             Residuals, Energy     Mix         85-95%
 Cherubini et al. 2009 Forestry Residuals     Various     70-98%

 Zhang et al. 2010      Wood Pellets          Elec from   91%, 78%
                                              Coal, Gas
 Raymer 2006            Fuel Wood, Pellets,   Elec from   81-98%
                        Residuals             Coal, Oil
 Heller et al. 2004     Short Rotation Willow Coal        99%
EPA GHG Regulation - UPDATE
 On January 12, 2011, EPA announced decision to defer,
  for three years, GHG permitting requirements for
  biomass CO2
 EPA will use this time to “seek further independent
  scientific analysis of this complex issue”
 EPA received more than 7000 comments on it’s July
  2010 Call For Information on bioenergy
 Expect EPA guidance to permitting authorities that use
  of biomass as fuel is BACT for GHG emissions
Federal GHG Legislation - UPDATE
  Legislation introduced in the 112th Congress to delay or
  strike down EPA GHG regulation
    Two bills in House would invalidate EPA’s
     Endangerment Finding, Tailoring rule, PSD regulations,
    House bills would also repeal or prevent enforcement of
     EPA mandatory GHG reporting rule
    Other House action (“Continuing Resolution”) cuts off
     funding for EPA GHG regulations until September 30,
     2011 (end of fiscal year)
  International Climate Negotiations
 Sixteenth Conference of the Parties (COP 16), Cancun
 Mexico in late 2010
   Voluntary emission reduction targets for both developed and
      undeveloped countries
     Agreement to keep temperature increases below 2°C (450 ppm
     Monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) of actions
     Establishment of “Global Climate Fund” to finance adaptation
      and mitigation measures in developing countries
     Advance REDD+ and endorse CDM
 No binding targets
  State & Regional GHG Programs
 Northeastern Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
   Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states
   Reducing cap on emissions from electric generating units
   Regulation began in 2009
 Western Climate Initiative (WCI)
   Seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces
   Economy-wide program with planned cap and trade
   California program will take effect in 2012
 Midwestern GHG Reduction Accord (Midwestern Accord)
   Six U.S. states and one Canadian province
   Economy-wide program with planned cap and trade
   Scheduled to launch in 2012
 GHG regulating legislation is unlikely from 112th Congress
 EPA moving forward with GHG regulation but deferring
    permit requirements for biogenic CO2
   Continuing challenges to use of zero CO2 emission factor
    for biomass at point of combustion
   Only modest progress in international climate initiatives
   State and regional GHG programs are moving forward
   More research is needed to better define the lifecycle
    attributes of certain biomass fuel materials, and to improve
    understanding of carbon accounting concepts

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