Princeton University has released a groundbreaking study on how the United States can achieve carbon neutrality. The study finds that bioenergy – especially biomass with carbon capture and storage – and renewable hydrogen will be critical to achieve carbon neutrality. The study’s main conclusions related to bioenergy are:
- Biomass plays an especially important role in achieving carbon neutrality because i) it removes CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows and so combustion of hydrocarbon fuels made with biomass carbon results in no net CO2 emissions to the atmosphere, ii) it can be converted into H2 while capturing and permanently sequestering its carbon, resulting in a net negative-emissions fuel, and iii) it can similarly be used to make negative-emissions electricity.
- Starting in the 2030s, H2 from biomass with capture of CO2 that is permanently sequestered is a highly cost-competitive technology option because of the high value of the associated negative emissions; negative-emissions bio electricity is less valued because of abundant low cost of solar and wind electricity.
- Hydrogen is a key carbon-free intermediate or final fuel.
You can download the full study here. The Bioenergy chapter begins on slide 200.