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Producing energy does not have to threaten the environment. In fact, its very production can reap major environmental benefits. The United States biomass.

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Presentation on theme: "Producing energy does not have to threaten the environment. In fact, its very production can reap major environmental benefits. The United States biomass."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Producing energy does not have to threaten the environment. In fact, its very production can reap major environmental benefits. The United States biomass power generating industry has a powerful influence over several areas of environmental concern: Reducing greenhouse emissions Improving air quality Protecting our forests Biomass power plants combust wood waste to produce electricity waste that would otherwise create adverse environmental impacts. Managing waste

3 Biomass fuels include wood waste such as: Urban wood waste like construction wood scraps, broken pallets, clean wood waste from factories and residue from tree trimmers Forest waste like small trees and undergrowth cleared from forests for fire suppression and growth enhancement Agricultural waste like orchard removals, rice hulls, fruit pits, etc. Unlike other renewable technologies, biomass plants pay to collect, process and transport its fuels and are more labor intensive Biomass power is a reliable, renewable base load electric power source able to provide a steady flow of power regardless of external conditions

4 Biomass power now provides over half of Americas renewablegreen electricity, some 8,500 MW a year reducing our dependence on foreign oil and providing enough electricity to light about 8.5 million American homes In addition, biomass power generates ten times the number of good-paying jobs found at the typical natural gas-fueled facility Americas biopower industry provides some 14,000 quality jobs and generates about $1 billion a year for the nations economy Each biomass power plant contributes about $8 – 14 million annually to the local communities where they operate in payroll, purchases and property tax revenue

5 Improves the Health of Our Forests Removing about 68.8 million tons of forest waste annually, reducing the threat of forest fires that endanger lives and property, and contribute to air pollution and GHG emissions Reduces Criteria Pollutants Biomass plants cut criteria pollutants as a result of carefully controlled combustion in biomass boilers Diverts about 36.2 million tons of urban wood waste from landfills annually Provides Waste Disposal Alternatives Reduces Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions At least 2 times more effective in reducing GHG emissions than any other type of renewable technology

6 Biomass Power is Carbon Neutral When plants and trees grow they absorb carbon, and when they die they release carbon as part of nature Fossil Fuel Power Creates New Carbon Fossil fuels (which contain carbon) are trapped beneath the ground, inaccessible to the atmosphere Accessed and used fossil fuels release new carbon into the atmosphere When organic matter is used as a fuel, it is utilizing existing carbon adding no new carbon to the atmosphere it is carbon neutral

7 Biomass is at least 2x more effective in reducing GHG emissions than any other type of renewable technology, or nuclear Biomass Also Provides GHG Reductions Biomass power plants efficiently combust the methane and eliminate it entirely, emitting all the biomass carbon in the form of CO 2. The amount of biomass in the forest grows or declines over time sequestering or releasing net carbon to the atmosphere. This balance of carbon matters. How biomass returns to the atmosphere also matters. Carbon is returned to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and methane (CH 4 ). Methane is 25 times more potent as a GHG. All disposal alternatives open burning, landfilling and decomposing in the open produce a damaging mix of the two.

8 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions for biomass (and biogass) are negative compared to others due to avoidance of landfill disposal and other polluting alternatives

9 A clean, renewable alternative to fossil fuel plants Will help California and other states meet mandated GHG reductions Diverting waste from high-emission conventional disposal like landfill disposal and agricultural field burning, actually reduces GHG emissions Diverts about 36.2 million tons of urban wood waste from landfills each year Has a net negative impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

10 The biomass power industry grew rapidly during the 1980s and early 1990s Biomass power generation in the U.S. grew 70% each year between 1990 and 1994 reaching 59,000 gigawatt-hours in [American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 1997] More than 100 biomass power plants are connected to the electricity grid in the U.S. today Biomass energy is growing rapidly and now accounts for 45% of the renewable energy used in the U.S. [NRDC]

11 Extending the expiring Production Tax Credit (PTC) for existing plants, set to expire 12/31/09 Provide biomass with tax equity or parity compared to other renewable technologies Recognize existing plants in a federal RES and adopt a broad definition of biomass Eliminate tax exempt financing and other credits discount Various technical clarifications related to H.R Congress should promote our successful biomass industry by:

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