Are the trees used in biomass plants replaced in equal (or greater) amounts by managed new growth, i.e., is biomass a “sustainable” energy source?
Most of the true forest management companies like Weyerhaeuser are in it for the long haul. So, yes they plant 3 trees for every one they cut down.
Then they go back in 15-20 years and selectively cut to leave the trees that are growing faster and straighter.
They also take the seeds from the biggest fastest growing trees. These seeds are used to replant the “crop”.
The difference is the crop take anywhere from 35-65 years to grow to a harvestable size.
FYI, the Southern Yellow Pines species of trees(there are technically four) are the fastest growing commercially harvestable timber resource in the wood. They grow from VA south to Florida and west to Texas/Oklahoma and Arkansas.
This SYP is the least expensive wood fiber on the planet.
This is why many of the southern sawmill companies have been purchased by the large North American softwood corporations like Canfor, West Fraser, Interfor, Potlatch/Deltic, Resolute and Tolko. The industry is consolidating.
The medium size companies are getting bought by the big corporations that have sawmills, paper mills, osb plants and other engineered wood products.
In the world, not wood.
I really need to proof read, before I hit post.