Why is there such an emphasis on power production from biomass?

Woody biomass is an abundant and readily available resource that historically has not been used much except by forest products manufacturers as an internal energy source at their facilities, although many such manufacturers have also been able to produce excess electric power for sale to the grid. Whereas commercial-scale production of transportation fuels is still in early stages of development, technologies are already well-developed for producing heat and electricity from biomass in firing or co-firing in boilers and in gasification systems. In addition, many states have implemented Renewable Electricity Standards (also called Renewable Portfolio Standards) which often provide incentives specifically directed to bio-based electrical power generation (as opposed to biofuel development). Includes information from NCSU Extension Forestry and used with permission by authors.