The "cubic mile of oil"--a metric roughly equivalent to the amount of oil consumed worldwide each year--is frequently used to explain the challenge facing solar, wind, geothermal and biomass power.
So what would it take to replace the amount of energy in a cubic mile of oil? Roughly 4.2 billion solar rooftops, 300 million wind turbines, 2,500 nuclear power plants or 200 Three Gorges Dams, according to Menlo Park, Calif., nonprofit research institute SRI International....MORE
Energy From Biomass
Biomass refers to any organic feedstock, such as wood, yard waste and agricultural and forest residues, that can be converted into energy through combustion, or converted into a liquid fuel that can be combusted. The majority of biomass resources are located east of the Continental Divide. Biofuels have taken a lot of heat for driving up food prices. A growing number of biofuels advocates think that growing energy crops on environmentally damaged lands, like closed mining sites, could solve the problem. For example, the Energy Crop Plantation in Florida is growing about 250,000 eucalyptus and cottonwood trees on a closed phosphate mine in central Florida. The project is currently the largest tree biomass energy crop plantation in the U.S. The following ranks the top five states for potential biomass energy by amount of biomass available in the state....