What is the role of bioenergy in soil carbon storage? Bioenergy provides a powerful way to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, increase carbon storage in soils, and produce sustainable biomass feedstocks.
On March 28–29, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) hosted a public virtual workshop to discuss soil carbon storage with a focus on the role of bioenergy. The workshop included discussions about methods for building healthy soils, decarbonizing agriculture and forestry, and assessing full life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with generating biomass for bioenergy. The biomass considered included energy crops, agricultural residues, and forestry residues.
Experts were drawn from both international and national pools, including governmental, industrial, agricultural, silvicultural, and academic stakeholders. We need new approaches and practices to provide usable biomass for biofuels and bioproducts while minimizing GHG emissions. Input from stakeholders is important in framing solutions.
The workshop focused on technical opportunities to:
- Optimize and stabilize carbon storage in soils
- Assess the impact of agronomic and forestry practices on soil carbon levels and GHG emissions
- Determine costs, benefits, and tradeoffs to carbon storage as it relates to bioenergy systems.
Talks included a keynote from Dr. Rattan Lal, Ohio State University, and an introduction from Dr. Valerie Sarisky-Reed, BETO's Director. Panel presentations, discussion, and stakeholder feedback were facilitated through interactive sessions. BETO will share a summary of findings from the workshop through a public report.
Download the agenda for this workshop.
Review the speaker bios for this workshop.
In addition to keynote and speaker presentations, BETO provided an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss diverse, outside-the-box work in climate mitigation, soils, and bioenergy during a “3 x 5” session. Presenters were given up to five minutes and three slides (in addition to a title slide). Attendees submitted talks on any aspect of the workshop, including soil carbon and bioenergy partnerships, especially those that meet Justice 40 Initiative goals through work with communities, small businesses, and disadvantaged groups.
Download the presentations from this workshop.