– by Anna Simet, August 23, 2017, Biomass Magazine
Photo: Biomass Magazine
The Arizona Corporation Commission has ordered Arizona Public Service to evaluate forest bioenergy as part of its resource portfolio.
A May memorandum from Commissioner Boyd Dunn instructed the opening of a docket to explore forest bioenergy, and its current role and impact in Arizona. The memo emphasized the important role forest bioenergy serves in maintaining Arizona’s forests, woodlands, and watersheds while creating energy for the grid. “Our history is riddled with examples of the devastating economic, cultural, and ecological impact of Arizona wildfires,” it stated. “In addition, state watersheds, including streams, lakes and reservoirs are at risk of contamination from hazardous runoff coming from the burned areas. Maintaining healthy forests and woodlands through on-the-ground restoration activities reduces the risk and severity of these wildfires.”
To access this issue, please subscribe to quarterly email issues of The Biomass Monitor.
Can Logging Forests for Biomass Energy Prevent Wildfire?
Will Western Communities Adapt to Climate-Driven Wildfire?
OPINION: Biomass Energy Facilities a Tool for Dealing with Forest Fuels by John Buckley, Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
OPINION: The Fallacies of Forest “Thinning” for Fire Management by Chad Hanson, John Muir Project
In August, The Biomass Monitor hosted a debate between Chad Hanson, Ph.D., Director and Principal Ecologist for John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute and David Atkins, former Forest Service ecologist and forester and current president of Treesource, over the effectiveness of cutting trees in backcountry forests to limit the spread and intensity of wildfire.
Subscribe to quarterly email issues of The Biomass Monitor to receive the recording in the fall issue. Subscribers can also contact email@example.com and we’ll get you the link right away.
– by Gillian Neimark, June 16, 2017, Southeast Energy News
A new biomass plant under construction in Georgia highlights the challenging economics of the technology, even in a state so rich in forestry waste it exports it to other countries.
The 50 MW Albany Green plant – the largest renewable energy project in the state so far – is a unique collaboration among Georgia Power, private companies (including Procter & Gamble) and a nearby Marine base. While the cost for biomass generated electricity is too high to compete with wind and solar, the project also produces steam for industrial use, which improves its economics.
– by Robert McClure, May 3, 2017, Undark
The idea that to generate electricity should be considered climate-friendly has been debated by scientists and politicians for years. Advocates, including many scientists, ask what could be more sustainable than burning trees? They drink in planet-warming gasses while growing, and give it back up when they are burned — a perfect closed loop with no net emissions. Critics, on the other hand — including other researchers — say the science is much more complicated than all that, and that when managed poorly, woody biomass power could be worse for the climate than coal.