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Sustainable Biomass Resource Development and Use

A flowchart illustrating the process flow of life-cycle assessment.

NREL's international work in sustainability analysis includes biomass resource use and impact assessment.

This analysis examines how we can use existing resources in a sustainable manner. It also examines the environmental and socio-economic impacts of resource development and use.

Our analysts look at the relationship of sustainable land use and biomass resource development. They look at whether there is available land to support bioenergy. They also study how we can use available land for biomass resource development in a sustainable manner. Another key question is how biomass resource development is linked to food supply, water use, biodiversity, job creation, and market development.

Featured Study

One example of this type of analysis is for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Liberia.

This analysis estimates the amount of sustainable biomass resources available in Liberia and their contribution for power generation and transportation fuels production. Resources being considered include:

  • Agricultural resources (food and cash crop residues, animal manure)
  • Forest resources (logging residues)
  • Urban resources (municipal solid waste)

The analysis will also evaluate expansion of key biomass resources in Liberia, including oil palm, coconut, and sugarcane as well as the potential of Jatropha Curcas as an energy crop. And, finally, it discusses socio-economic and environmental implications of biomass resource development in Liberia.


Assessment of Biomass Resources in Liberia, NREL Technical Report (2009) 

Assessment of Biomass Resources from Marginal Lands in APEC Economies, NREL Technical Report (2009) 

A Geographic Perspective on the Current Biomass Resource Availability in the United States, NREL Technical Report (2005)


Anelia Milbrandt | 303-275-4633