Energy From Forest Biomass: Potential Economic Impacts In Massachusetts

By Economic Development Research Group for the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, 2007

How can woody-biomass energy generation bolster the Western Massachusetts economy? EDR Group, as part of a larger examination of biomass adoption in MA, studied the economic development implications of biomass energy for five rural counties in Western Massachusetts.

EDR Group (under subcontract to UMASS Amherst's Department of Forestry) was part of a team evaluating the development of biomass generated power & thermal applications. The economic impact analysis is one of several components of the overall study.

EDR Group focused on how investment in physical plant, on-going operations & maintenance spending for biomass-fired generation facilities and wood chip supplier market development translate into economic development opportunities. An IMPLAN I-O model of five Western Massachusetts counties' regional economy was enlisted to measure the economic impacts that follow increased activity related to harvesting forests and non-traditional energy generation.

These results, along with the conclusions of the overall study, will be used to secure federal and state funding to promote sustainable energy generation as part of Massachusetts' Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.