Study points out inherent flaws in Manomet woody biomass study

Read the full story in Biomass Power and Thermal.

A new study contradicting the findings of the well-known 2010 Massachusetts biomass study by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences points out inherent flaws and incorrect assumptions in the Manomet authors’ methodology. In short, the inaccuracies lead to flawed findings, which have prompted sweeping policy changes in Massachusetts that threaten to wipe the use of woody biomass off the map in the state.

The Manomet study found and outlined a debt-then-dividend model for using woody biomass to generate electricity, saying it can take decades to pay back the carbon debt. In the new study, however, William Strauss, president of FutureMetrics, says Manomet has it backwards. “The Manomet study implicitly assumes there’s a carbon debt before dividend,” he said of his report, ‘How Manomet got it Backwards.‘ “The presumption is you’re increasing carbon. My thesis is the dividend has already been accrued.” The Manomet authors are so deeply ingrained into their logic, he adds, that they allow no conclusions other than those that accrue from their debt-then-dividend model, thus limiting the scope of their view of the world and removing information from the system.

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