From the Summary: "To promote energy diversity and improve energy security, Congress has expressed interest in biopower--electricity generated from biomass. Biopower, a baseload power source, can be produced from a large range of biomass feedstocks nationwide (e.g., urban, agricultural, and forestry wastes and residues). The two most common biopower processes are combustion (e.g., direct-fired or co-fired) and gasification, with the former being the most widely used. Proponents have stated that biopower has the potential to strengthen rural economies, enhance energy security, and minimize the environmental impacts of energy production. Challenges to biopower production include the need for a sufficient feedstock supply, concerns about potential health impacts to nearby communities from the combustion of biomass, and its higher generation costs relative to fossil fuel-based electricity. At present, biopower generally requires tax incentives to be competitive with conventional fossil fuel-fired electric generation."
CRS Report for Congress, R41603
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html