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The future of biomass energy: A Fermi-calculation perspective

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  • Pickard, William F

Abstract

It is argued: (i) that the harvesting of terrestrial solar radiation to perform useful work is at least an order of magnitude more efficient when carried out by solar-thermal or solar-photovoltaic processes than when carried out by way of biomass conversion and (ii) that, therefore, biomass energy is unlikely to compete successfully with inanimately harvested solar energy--except of course in restricted niche applications.

Suggested Citation

  • Pickard, William F, 2010. "The future of biomass energy: A Fermi-calculation perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1672-1674, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:4:p:1672-1674
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Fthenakis, Vasilis & Mason, James E. & Zweibel, Ken, 2009. "The technical, geographical, and economic feasibility for solar energy to supply the energy needs of the US," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 387-399, February.
    2. Goldemberg, José & Guardabassi, Patricia, 2009. "Are biofuels a feasible option?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 10-14, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pickard, William F., 2013. "Transporting the terajoules: Efficient energy distribution in a post-carbon world," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 51-61.
    2. Pickard, William F., 2012. "A Nation-Sized Battery?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 263-267.

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    Keywords

    Biomass Efficiency Energy;

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