Overcoming Barriers to Forest Bioenergy Production in Minnesota.
As a state with no coal, oil, or natural gas production, the development of renewable energy is vital to Minnesota’s future. Forest biomass used for heating, electricity, and biofuel production is one potential source of energy that could significantly reduce carbon emissions and dependence on energy imports while reinvesting in local communities. Yet bioenergy investments have been slow to materialize despite an assortment of state and federal incentives. To determine why, researchers from the University of Minnesota’s Department of Forest Resources interviewed state bioenergy experts from a number of sectors to assess the current market, identify policy barriers to bioenergy development, and articulate principles and a framework for a statewide bioenergy strategy. This policy brief was adapted from “Something Old and Something New: Forest Bioenergy Production in Minnesota,” CURA Reporter 42,2 (Summer 2012): 9–16.