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
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
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.