The biomass industry has about a $100 billion direct and indirect impact on the U.S. economy today. | Photo courtesy of Myriant

Editor’s note: This is a shorter version of a Bioenergy Technologies Office Blog post about America’s bioeconomy. Read the BETO Blog post in full.

Biomass is the most abundant biological material on the planet. It is renewable; it grows almost everywhere; and it provides fuel, power, chemicals, and many other products. Despite this, most people don’t know that biomass is a major part of the U.S. economy. This bioeconomy—the economic, environmental, and social activities associated with the production and use of biomass-derived products—is growing in the United States and around the world.

Biomass resources provide incredible energy and economic potential for our country.  Investment in a national bioeconomy will provide the opportunity to create new U.S. jobs. The current bioeconomy employs close to half-a-million people in the United States, and the potential exists to triple this figure in the next 15 years. Moreover, the expansion of biofuels technologies will create a stable, domestic supply of energy—reducing the vast amount of money spent importing oil from overseas and increasing our country’s national security.  

Biomass is sustainably grown on our nation’s farms and woodlots, or captured from waste streams. This resource helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, under appropriate management strategies and practices, improves the conservation and stewardship of our natural resources. Biomass offers a unique opportunity to expand American investment in the national economy, from developments in our rural communities to innovations in U.S. technology and manufacturing sectors.  Read more.