Harnessing the Power of Biomass Energy in the Midwest: West Lafayette, IN

Phil Lehmkuhler, Indiana State Director of USDA Rural Development; Wally Tyner, James and Lois Ackerman Professor, Agricultural Economics, Purdue University

Regional Release of The Chicago Council’s Fourth Heartland Paper

While some forms of renewable energy sources—such as wind, solar, and geothermal—have not reached desired economies of scale in the Midwest, the abundance of agricultural and forestry biomass residuals in the region could provide new opportunities for economic development, energy security, and environmental conservation. The report, “Harnessing the Power of Biomass Residuals: Opportunities and Challenges for Midwestern Renewable Energy,” examines these opportunities and the key challenges limiting the current capacity of alternative biomass energy technologies, including financial constraints, market penetration barriers, and behavioral routines. It concludes with a series of recommendations that offer a framework for making better use of residuals in the region. The report is authored by Steve Brick, senior fellow on energy and climate at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Speaker Bio

Additional Information

This report is the fourth installment of The Chicago Council’s Global Midwest Initiative’s Heartland Paper series, reports based on original research that examine key issues and provide policy recommendations to support Midwestern success in a global economy. This report is made possible in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development Agency.