Biomass produces a minuscule fraction (0.9% in 2007) of all the electricity in the United States. Liberia, however, is planning to make all -- or most -- of its electricity from trees.
Old, non-performing rubber trees, to be specific.
The country hosts the world's largest single natural rubber operation, a Firestone plantation with 8 million trees. Those trees will be used in a new $150-million power plant to produce 35 MW of electricity, and double that when the nation's power grid gets upgraded. The Liberian Electric Company will sell that power to citizens for half what they are paying now.
A bonus result of felling trees for energy: More room to plant new rubber trees, leading to continuous rubber production. You can tap your tree and burn it too.
Other benefits from the biomass energy operation include 400 new jobs in electricity generation and distribution. And as businesses save money through lower rates for energy, they're likely to hire more workers.