Category Archives: climate change

[NEWS] Rhode Island Biomass Bill Sparks Debate Between Environmentalists, Energy Developers

– by Avory Brookins, May 21, 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio

rhode island pr biomass

Photo: Rhode Island Public Radio

Environmentalists and green energy companies in Rhode Island are at odds over a bill that could advance the development of biomass power plants in the state.

Biomass is organic material, such as wood, that can be burned to produce energy. The Environmental Protection Agency also considers it a renewable resource.

However, biomass is not included in the state’s “net-metering” program, which applies to other renewable technologies, such as solar and wind.

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[NEWS] EPA Makes Decision on Carbon Neutrality of Biomass Energy

– April 23, 2018, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA 600Today, during a meeting with Georgia forestry leaders, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt discussed the importance of environmental stewardship and announced a new decision on the carbon neutrality of forest biomass.

“Today’s announcement grants America’s foresters much-needed certainty and clarity with respect to the carbon neutrality of forest biomass,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Managed forests improve air and water quality, while creating valuable jobs and thousands of products that improve our daily lives. This is environmental stewardship in action.”

In the meeting with members of the forestry community, Administrator Pruitt announced the Agency issued a statement of policy making clear, that future regulatory actions on biomass from managed forests will be treated as carbon neutral when used for energy production at stationary sources. The Agency will also be assessing options for incorporating non-forest biomass as carbon neutral into future actions.

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[NEWS] Despite Advances, Costs Keep Wood Biocoal on Backburner

– by Frank Jossi, April 2, 2018, Energy News Network

biocoal_energy-news-network

Photo: Energy News Network

At a research lab in the northwoods of Minnesota, scientists are roasting tree waste until it turns into something that looks and burns like coal — without the heavy metal pollution. The finished product is called “biocoal” or “torrefied biomass,” and a team of University of Minnesota-Duluth researchers hope it might someday displace coal to fuel power plants, reinvigorating the region’s forestry economy and reducing carbon emissions at the same time.

The work at the Natural Resources Research Institute lab, about 200 miles north of the Twin Cities, appears to be the latest technical advance for woody biomass. The team’s facility is able to produce as much as 6 tons per day of the biocoal, which has energy values similar to coal. It’s been successfully tested in a Milwaukee tourist train and a large, coal-fired power plant owned by Minnesota Power, the investor-owned utility in the area.

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[NEWS] Omnibus Draft: Biomass Energy “Carbon Neutral”

– by Dean Scott, March 21, 2018, Bloomberg

smokestack question markEmissions from forest biomass would continue to be treated as carbon-neutral and the EPA would be barred from regulating lead in bullets and fishing tackle under the draft omnibus spending bill, congressional aides told Bloomberg Environment.

Both the ammunition and forest biomass regulatory provisions would be retained from previous spending measures.

The biomass language would shield facilities that burn wood and other organic matter from greenhouse gas regulation. The forestry and paper industries have long sought to have biomass treated as carbon neutral, arguing that the decaying plant matter would eventually release its trapped greenhouse gas emissions.

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