Climate Change Solutions: Sensible or Misguided?, The School of Public Policy Publications, University of Calgary, September 2019 – It concludes: “We argue that emissions from bioenergy should be treated in the same way as emissions from fossil fuels and this leaves many developed countries in a deep hole for reducing emissions. Based on the analysis in this study, we recommend that Canada pursue strategic policy directions and the design of unique and rational innovation programs.

Serious mismatches continue between science and policy in forest bioenergy, Michael Norton, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, August 2019

Reconsidering bioenergy given the urgency of climate protection, John M. DeCicco and William H. Schlesinger, PNAS, September 2018

Revised European Union renewable-energy policies erode nature protection,
Klaus Josef Hennenberg, Nature Ecology and Evolution, August 2018

Commentary by the European Academies’ ScienceAdvisory Council (EASAC) on Forest Bioenergy  and Carbon Neutrality, June 2018

Woody Biomass for Power and Heat: Demand and Supply in Selected EU Member States, Chatham House report by Duncan Brack June 2018

Carbon impacts of biomass consumed in the EU Supplementary analysis and interpretation for the European Climate Foundation by Robert Matthews, Geoff Hogan and Ewan Mackie of Forest Research, the research agency of the UK Forestry Commission, May 2018

The effects of logging residue extraction for energy on ecosystem services and biodiversity: A synthesis, Thomas Ranius, Journal of Environmental Management, March 2018

EU Bioenergy Policies Will Increase Carbon Dioxide Concentrations, Dr. William R. Moomaw, Global Development And Environment InstituteTufts University Climate Policy Brief 7, February 2018

Not carbon neutral: Assessing the net emissions impact of residues burned for bioenergy, Mary S Booth, Environmental Research Letters, February 2018

Does replacing coal with wood lower CO2 emissions? Dynamic lifecycle analysis of wood bioenergy, John D Sterman Environmental Research Letters, January 2018

Does the world have low-carbon bioenergy potential from the dedicated use of land?, Timothy D Searchinger, Energy Policy, September 2017

Multi-functionality and sustainability in the European Union’s forests,  European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), May 2017 (includes discussion about wood-based bioenergy)

The Impacts of the Demand for Woody Biomass for Power and Heat on Climate and Forests, Duncan Brack, Chatham House, February 2017 [Not a peer-reviewed study, but a science review by an independent think tank]

Biodiversity: Complementary canopies, Bernhard Schmid and Pascal A. Niklaus, Nature Ecology & Evolution, March 2017 AND associated article Spatial complementarity in tree crowns explains overyielding in species mixtures, Laura J. Williams, Nature Ecology & Evolution, December 2016: These articles do not directly focus on bioenergy, however they are relevant to this debate because they explore a key reason why monoculture tree plantations sequester less carbon than biodiverse forests.

Bioenergy production and forest landscape change in the southeastern United States, Jennifer K. Costanza, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, August 2016 (Study based on modelling of potential landscape changes from wood pellet and wood-based biofuel production in North Carolina, highlighting the likely expansion of industrial tree plantations at the expense of biodiverse bottomland hardwoods.

Projected gains and losses of wildlife habitat from bioenergy-induced landscape change, Nathan M. Tarr et al., Global Change Biology Bioenergy, August 2016 (Study based on simulated modelling which looks at the potential impacts of wood-pellet production in North Carolina on different species)

Recycle, Bury, or Burn Wood Waste Biomass?: LCA Answer Depends on Carbon Accounting, Emissions Controls, Displaced Fuels, and Impact Costs, Jeffrey Morris, Journal of Industrial Ecology, August 2016

The carbon neutrality of electricity generation from woody biomass and coal, a critical comparative evaluation, Victor Nian, Applied Energy, October 2016

Energy Sprawl Is the Largest Driver of Land Use Change in United States, Anne M. Trainor,  PLoS ONE, September 2016 (Contains figures for the land footprint of each energy source – with biomass far exceeding that of any other type of energy)

Evidence for Losses From Strongly Bound SOM [Soil Organic Matter] Pools After Clear Cutting in a Northern Hardwood Forest, Emily M. Lacroix, Soil Science, April 2016 (Indirectly related to bioenergy: Study about soil carbon losses following clearcutting)

Range and uncertainties in estimating delays in greenhouse gas mitigation potential of forest bioenergy sourced from Canadian forests, Jérôme Laganière, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, December 2015

Thinning Combined With Biomass Energy Production May Increase, Rather Than Reduce, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, D.A. DellaSala and M. Koopman, Report by Geos Institute, November 2015 (Scientific report rather than peer-reviewed study)

Forest soil carbon is threatened by intensive biomass harvesting, David L. Achat et al, Scientific Report, November 2015

How certain are greenhouse gas reductions from bioenergy? Life cycle assessment and uncertainty analysis of wood pellet-to-electricity supply chains from forest residues, Mirjam Röder, Biomass and Bioenergy, August 2015 [This article looks at methane emissions from woodchip and pellet storage.]

Quantifying consequences of removing harvesting residues on forest soils and tree growth – A meta-analysis, D.L. Achat et al, Forest Ecology and Management, July 2015 [This meta-analysis looks at the impacts of ‘whole tree harvesting’, which is increasingly practised for bioenergy, on soil nutrients and future tree growth and finds serious negative impacts.]

Limits to Sustainable Use of Wood Biomass, Janis Abolins and Janis Gravitis, Sustainable Development, Knowledge Society and Smart Future Manufacturing Technologies, World Sustainability Series 2015, April 2015 [The authors looked at bioenergy sourced from fast growing tree plantations and “argue that generating electricity by burning wood is an extremely inefficient use of land under conditions of sustainable supply of the fuel and conclude that transfer to bio-energy without radical changes in the existing economic system would further aggravate the environmental crisis.”]

Avoiding Bioenergy Competition for Food Crops and Land, Creating a Sustainable Food Future, Tim Searchinger and Ralph Heimlich, published by World Resources Institute, January 2015 [Scientific report, not peer-reviewed study]

Position Statement on Bioenergy by the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen)

The Burning Question: Does Forest Bioenergy Reduce Carbon Emissions? A Review of Common Misconceptions about Forest Carbon Accounting, Michael T. Ter-Mikaelian et al, Journal of Forestry, November 2014

Projected CO2 Emissions Due to Increased Logging Under Senator Ron Wyden’s “Oregon and California Land Grant Act of 2013, Dr. Olga Krankina, Courtesy Faculty, Department of Forest Ecosystems & Society, College of Forestry, Oregon State University, September 2014 [Note increased logging is proposed in part to serve the needs of energy companies seeking to burn biomass in the US.]

Life-Cycle Impacts of Biomass Electricity in 2020, Dr Anna Stephenson and Professor David MacKay, DECC, July 2014 [This study looks at a range of different scenarios for life-cycle CO2 emissions associated with pellets imported from North America to the UK.]

Forest biomass for energy in the EU: current trends, carbon balance and sustainable potential, IINAS, EFI and Joanneum Research, prepared for BirdLife Europe, EEB and Transport Environment, May 2014

Forestry Bioenergy in the Southeast United States: Implications for Wildlife Habitat and Biodiversity, J.M. Evans et al, National Wildlife Federation, December 2013 [This is not  a peer-reviewed study but a report produced through a collaboration of researchers at different universities.

Ecological limits to terrestrial carbon dioxide removal, Lydia J. Smith and Margaret S. Torn, Climatic Change (2013)  [Note: This article specifically looks at Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage as well as at tropical ‘afforestation’, which the authors define as meaning primarily industrial pine and eucalyptus plantations established at the expense of shrubland and grassland.  Many of the findings are relevant to large-scale bioenergy in general.]

The ‘debt’ is in the detail: A synthesis of recent temporal forest carbon analyses on woody biomass for energy, Patrick Lamers and Martin Junginger, Biofuels, Bioprod, July/August 2013 [Note that the authors presume that most wood pellets are currently produced from residues.  There is evidence to the contrary from the southern US and no independent analysis has been carried out in other regions.]

JRC Technical Reports – Carbon Accounting of forest bioenergy, Conclusions and recommendations from a critical literature review, Joint Research Centre, European Commission, 2013

Dead Forests Release Less Carbon Into Atmosphere Than Expected  Trees killed in the wake of widespread mountain pine beetle infestations have not resulted in a large spike in carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, contrary to predictions, a University of Arizona-led study has found. Published in Ecology Letters March 2013 as:  Persistent reduced ecosystem respiration after insect disturbance in high elevation forests

Mineral soil carbon fluxes in forests and implications for carbon balance assessments, Thomas Buchholz et al, GCB Bioenergy, January 2013 – See here for a Science Daily article summarising the key findings, including: “The findings suggest that calls for an increased reliance on forest biomass be re-evaluated and that forest carbon analyses are incomplete unless they include deep soil, which stores more than 50 percent of the carbon in forest soils.”

Site-specific global warming potentials of biogenic CO2 for bioenergy: contributions from carbon fluxes and albedo dynamics, Francesco Cherubini et al, Environmental Research Letters, November 2012 – for an interview with the lead author see here.

The outcome is in the assumptions: analyzing the effects on atmospheric CO2 levels of increased use of bioenergy from forest biomass, Bjart Holtsmark, 5th October 2012, GCB Bioenergy

Sound Principles and an Important Inconsistency in the 2012 UK Bioenergy Strategy, Tim Searchinger, September 2012

Global Consequences of the Bioenergy Greenhouse Gas Accounting Error, Tim Searchinger, 2012 (for a background presentation by the author, see here)

Using ecosystem CO2 measurements to estimate the timing and magnitude of greenhouse gas mitigation potential of forest bioenergy,  Pierre Bernier and David Paré, July 2012 (looking at the carbon impact of sourcing wood from boreal forests in Canada for energy)

Correcting a fundamental error in greenhouse gas accounting related to bioenergy, Helmut Haberl et. al., Energy Policy, Elsevier, June 2012

Large-scale bioenergy from additional harvest of forest biomass is neither sustainable nor greenhouse gas neutral, Ernst-Detlef Schulze et al, April 2012

Biogenic vs. geologic carbon emissions and forest biomass energy production, John S Gunn et al, GCB Bioenergy, April 2012

Biomass Supply and Carbon Accounting for Southeastern Forests, Biomass Energy Resource Center, the Forest Guild, and Spatial Informatics Group for Southern Environmental Law Center and National Wildlife Federation, February 2012

Carbon debt and carbon sequestration parity in forest bioenergy production, Stephen R. Mitchell et al, January 2012

Carbon emissions associated with the procurement and utilization of forest harvest residues for energy, northern Minnesota, USA, Grant M. Domke, Biomass and Bioenergy, January 2012

Is woody bioenergy carbon neutral? A comparative assessment of emissions from consumption of woody bioenergy and fossil fuel, Giuliana Zanchi et al, December 2011 – For a background presentation by one of the authors, see here.

Can fuel-reduction treatments really increase forest carbon storage in the western US by reducing future fire emissions?, John L. Campbell et al, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, December 2011 [Note: This article specifically looks at the carbon impacts of forest thinning for fire prevention, rather than at how the timber from forest thinning is then used.  However, wood from forest thinning for this purpose is being widely promoted as ‘sustainable’ bioenergy.]

Regional carbon dioxide implications of forest bioenergy production, Tara W. Hudiburg et al, Nature Climate Change, 23rd October 2011

Opinion of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee on Greenhouse Gas Accounting in Relation to Bioenergy, September 2011

Harvesting in boreal forests and the biofuel carbon debt, Bjart Holtsmark, August 2011

Forest Bioenergy or Forest Carbon? Assessing Trade-Offs in Greenhouse Gas Mitigation with Wood-Based Fuels, J.McKechnie et al, March 2011. summarised here

Effect of policy-based bioenergy demand on southern timber markets: A case study of North Carolina, Robert C. Abt et al, Biomass and Energy (34)

Review of the Manomet Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study, Mary Booth for the Clean Air Task Force, July 2010

The upfront carbon debt of bioenergy, Joanneum Research, July 2010

Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, June 2010

Implications of Limiting CO2 Concentrations for Land Use and Energy, Marshall Wise et al, May 2010

Forest carbon storage in the northeastern United States: Net effects of harvesting
frequency, post-harvest retention, and wood products, Jared S. Nunery and William S. Keeton, Forest Ecology and Management, March 2010 [Not specifically about bioenergy, this article compares carbon impacts of leaving mature northern hardwood forests undisturbed with those of different logging practices and finds that “even with consideration of C sequestered in harvested wood products, unmanaged northern hardwood forests will sequester 39 to 118% more C than any of the active management options evaluated.]

Fixing a Critical Climate Accounting Error, Timothy Searchinger et al, October 2009

Energy Sprawl or Energy Efficiency: Climate policy impacts on natural habitats for the United States of America, Robert I McDonald et al, PLoS ONE 4(8): e6802. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0006802, August 2009

All The Carbon Counts: Including Land-Based Carbon In Greenhouse Gas Control Strategies Lowers Costs And Preserves Forests, Science Daily, June 2009

Goodbye to Carbon Neutral, Eric Johnson, 2008