Laura Eaton, University of Minnesota, eato0126@umn.edu (Presenter)
Dennis Becker, University of Minnesota, drbecker@umn.edu


Forest biomass offers a particularly interesting opportunity for expanding state renewable energy portfolios. Minnesota is uniquely positioned in this regard with abundant forest resources, industry expertise, and steady community and public support. Yet, despite some progress in this area, the rate of growth has been slow. In order to identify the barriers to market entry, we conducted interviews with experts working at each step in the bioenergy supply chain. Our findings highlight the institutional challenges of increasing bioenergy production and in particular the lack of state and federal policy coordination, policy preference for large-scale production, and unintended market competition. We present a framework for a state bioenergy strategy and illuminate the perspectives of key stakeholders and their design for state policy development. The institutional challenges and recommendations identified are applicable to many regions of the country and may be useful for state and federal policy design.