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Potential of Forest Fuels for Producing Electrical Energy

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Annual aboveground wood increment in the world's forests is approximately 12.9 billion metric tons. At 50 percent accessibility, about 6.5 billion tons are available for all wood uses. On the assumption of 3.5 x 106 kcal/ton of air-dried wood, a thermal-electric conversion of about 35 percent, and a power station running at 60 percent operating efficiency, then one megawatt per year requires about 6,200 tons of wood annually. Therefore, if all wood was used for electrical generation, maximum production from the world's forests would amount to 1.0 x 106 mWe (megawatts electric), without dipping into capital. This is roughly twice the equivalent of the present U.S. generating capacity, and half that projected for the year 2000.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Program Manager of the Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee

Publication date: March 1, 1978

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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