The Economic Impact of Biomass Alternatives on North Carolina's Economy - UNC Chapel Hill

Exporting goods and import substitution are two economic development strategies for

growing an economy. Export orientation includes growing a state’s economic base and

producing goods which are exported out of the economy. This is a strategy that the

state would pursue by encouraging the production of wood pellets for exporting to out of

state domestic markets and foreign markets. An economy may also grow by

encouraging import substitution to replace imported items from other states with those

produced locally. Such an approach can also grow an economy. This is a strategy the

state would pursue by replacing imported liquid fuel with biofuels and/or replacing

imported coal and other electric power producing inputs with locally produced wood

pellets. This assessment will examine the economic impact of each of the three

approaches to determine which yields the maximum economic impact. IMPLAN 3.0 will

be utilized to conduct this assessment and determine the direct, indirect, and induced

employment and productivity associated with these activities, as well as, the labor

income from these activities.

 

The three scenarios to be conducted include:

Scenario One: An IMPLAN 3.0 model of the regional and statewide economic impact of

producing 1000 ton/day biomass-to-energy power generation facility in North Carolina

utilizing hardwoods as the feedstock. An alternative scenario will be conducted utilizing

energy grasses as the feedstock.

 

Scenario Two: An IMPLAN 3.0 model of the regional and statewide economic impact of

producing 1000 ton/day biomass-to-wood pellet facility in North Carolina for export of

the pellets out-of-state.

 

Scenario Three: An IMPLAN 3.0 model of the regional and statewide economic impact

of producing 1000 ton/day biomass-to-fuels facility in North Carolina utilizing hardwoods

as the feedstock. An alternative scenario will be conducted utilizing energy grasses as

the feedstock.

 

These three scenarios will be compared based on their respective economic output to

the state, job creation, and labor income. Additionally, the temporary construction

impacts of each facility will also be modeled and compared.

IMPLAN is an input-output modeling program that permits researchers to estimate the

projected effects of an exogenous (“outside”) increase in demand that results from new

economic activity a region. These types of analyses assume that any new spending

that results from the new economic activity in the region would not have otherwise

occurred.

 

The IMPLAN software is used to estimate the impact of both the first and subsequent

rounds of spending -- in other words, the direct, indirect and induced impacts-- that

result from the new economic event.