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Wood chips.  Photo by the USDA Forest Service

Division of Renewable Energy

Biomass is any plant-derived organic matter including herbaceous and woody energy crops, agricultural crop wastes and residues, wood products and wastes, aquatic plants, and some municipal wastes.

Biomass is an important renewable energy resource for the Commonwealth.  It can be grown or harvested throughout the state and used to produce biopower (heat and electricity) and biofuel.  Biomass is a critical resource needed to achieve Strategy 2 and Strategy 3 of the 7-Point Strategy for Energy Independence and currently most of the renewable energy produced in the Commonwealth is derived from biomass. 

Governor Beshear recognizes the importance of biomass as a source of energy and convened the Executive Task Force on Biomass and Biofuel Development in the fall of 2009.  The task force established several recommendations and strategic actions necessary to build a bioenergy industry in Kentucky.  Specifically the task force determined that Kentucky must:

  • Identify a single agency to coordinate biomass development efforts
  • Develop policies to mitigate demand risks
  • Develop policies to mitigate supply risks
  • Develop a sustainable biomass industry
  • Develop capitalization mechanisms