Carbon Credits from Biomass
Credits Claimed by Generating Energy from Biomass Fuelstocks
Generating companies can claim verifiable carbon credits for electricity known as "Biopower" generated from biomass. Biomass is defined as "any organic matter that is available on a renewable or recurring basis, including agricultural crops and trees, wood and wood wastes and residues, plants (including aquatic plants), grasses, residues, fibers, and animal wastes, municipal wastes, and other waste materials."
Within the U.S. government's definition of biomass are "closed loop" biomass crops, energy crops grown solely for the production of biopower. Such crops include varieties of switchgrass, Miscanthus and woody coppice plants. Culture and use of these plants, at the expense of fossil carbon, produce quantifiable, verifiable carbon credits in the plant material above ground (leaves, stems, seeds) and in the plant material below ground (roots, rhizomes and tubers).
For example, a farmer may grow a dedicated biomass crop and sell it to an electric utility. The utility would claim credits from using carbohydrate energy rather than fossil energy. The farmer would still have the amount of carbon stored in the roots and soil as another source of income. He may elect to act as a carbon scavenger on behalf of one or more clients who want or need to offset personal or business related emissions.