A recent study published in Science concludes that using biomass to produce electricity is 80 percent more efficient than transforming the biomass to biofuels and 200% more effective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
While I understand our infatuation with creating liquid fuels, if biomass is more effective in generating electricity in the near term (and it is) we should apply more funds and political support for biomass combustion (the "burn baby burn" strategy).
Every year we put off addressing global warming in a meaningful way just increases the hole we have to eventually dig out of, and the cost of doing so.
Biomass to electricity is today's solution -- it costs less to implement than the alternatives and it reduces the amount of carbon we pull out of the ground.
I think Ethanol did the industry a huge dis-favor. The numbers on it were just horrible yet it got over-promoted. Now, I'm afraid that we threw the 'baby out with the bathwater' and for a period of time "Ethanol" became synonymous with "BioMass" .
The good news is that time and data are changing that perception. This study is just one more example on how the United States is coming around to what much of Europe has already figured out -- Biomass is the lowest cost, most practical way to make meaningful progress on global warming. It is the most Intelligent Carbon Strategy.