In November 2009, under the direction of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) commissioned a team to conduct a comprehensive six-month study of issues related to biomass sustainability and carbon policy (also referred to as the Manomet Study).

The team was charged with developing a significant, objective white paper that brings the best science to bear as DOER considers the path forward for biomass energy policy, including the preparation of new regulations to establish sustainability criteria that biomass facilities must meet under the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study, released in June 2010, addresses the following issues:

  • Sustainable forest management and ecological implications of biomass harvesting
  • Carbon sequestration of forests with and without forest management
  • Net effect of biomass energy on atmospheric carbon balance
  • U.S. and international policies in regard to biomass and carbon neutrality

The Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study, and supporting materials, are available below.



Led by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, the study was conducted by a team pdf format of manomet_bios.pdf of environmental professionals recognized nationally and internationally in forestry and conservation. An Independent Advisory Panel pdf format of manomet_panel.pdf reviewed the team's work.

In addition to the Manomet Center, the Forest Guild, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, and the Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC) have all contributed staff and resources to the study.

Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences is a relatively small but influential non-profit organization based in Manomet, Massachusetts, which is helping to build a sustainable world based on healthy natural systems that support human and wildlife populations.

The Forest Guild is a national organization of more than 700 foresters, allied professionals, and supporters who manage forestlands in the United States and Canada and are stewards of and advocates for ecologically sound forest practices. Its mission is to practice and promote ecologically, economically, and socially responsible forestry as a means of sustaining the integrity of forest ecosystems and the human communities dependent upon them.

The Pinchot Institute for Conservation is a leading forest conservation and policy organization. With the goal of informing the national discourse on climate and energy policy, the Institute is exploring the role of sustainably managed forests in our nation's energy future.

Biomass Energy Resource Center is a national non-profit organization based in Montpelier, Vermont. Its mission is to achieve a healthier environment, strengthen local economies, and increase energy security across the United States, through the development of sustainable biomass energy systems at the community level.


This information is provided by the Department of Energy Resources.