About 100 million acres of cropland would have to be dedicated to biomass sources such as switchgrass to produce 25 percent of the country's energy in 2025. That comes from a University of Tennessee study that also said such a move would generate $700 billion in new economic activity. The study says the biomass farming would not interfere with the country's demand for food or feed. The report suggests using 105 million acres of the nation's 800 million acres of agriculture land. Much of the needed land would come from pastures. The potential yield, according to the study, could be 86
billion gallons of ethanol
, 1.1 billion gallons of biodiesel
and 925 billion kW hours of electricity. The reports says the technology to commercially convert switchgrass to ethanol could be ready by 2012.
[Source: Duncan Mansfield/Associated Press via Florida Times-Union]