S.E. Commission Partners with N.C. Biofuels Center in Study of Biomass Opportunities

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Alternative energy initiatives in the Southeast Region continue to burgeon as the nation moves toward cleaner, sustainable energy from domestic sources. Working with the Biofuels Center of North Carolina, the Southeast Commission is now surveying woody biofuels assets across its 11 county region. Woody biomass refers to trees, limbs, leaves and woody plants that are the by-products of forest management. Such materials can be harvested for use as energy, chemical compounds, and other commercial and industrial products.

The Oxford, N.C.-based Biofuels Center is funding efforts by the Commission and several other regional development partnerships to gauge an array of woody biomass opportunities. Regional officials are working with forestry consultants to identify viable biomass sites and assess infrastructure required for bio-fuels production. The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard, a North Carolina law enacted in 2007, requires 12.5 percent of electricity be derived from renewable sources such as biomass by 2021.