Numbers from the Beaver Wood Energy biomass plant reveal it will be one of the biggest polluters in Vermont.
By pretending that cutting and burning whole trees doesn’t add carbon to the atmosphere, the newly watered-down Massachusetts regulations claim the legitimacy of being “based on Manomet” - while ignoring that study’s key finding.
The biomass industry often claims they don’t burn whole trees for fuel. New pictures show that not only are whole trees used for fuel, but these are very large trees indeed.
What do Australia and Massachusetts have in common? Both governments are have cutting edge energy policies that acknowledge the drawbacks of biomass energy – showing that biomass energy is truly an emerging threat to forests worldwide, but that sane policy responses are possible.
The goal of the Vermont Energy Plan is to help the state develop energy sources that are abundant, safe, and healthy, and above all, do not exacerbate climate change. Biomass energy does not meet these criteria.
It’s a measure of how pervasive the “biomass benefits climate” myth has become that even the well-respected Climate Progress blog, edited by the great Joe Romm, seems to have bought into the propaganda.
A new report gives the most comprehensive listing to date of biomass power facilties proposed around the country, and the taxpayer and ratepayer-funded incentives driving explosive growth in the biomass industry.
What the NH biomass plant operators know, and what their statements demonstrate, is that biomass fuel is getting scarce and costly, the biomass industry is heavily dependent on subsidies, and that pollution controls can be prohibitively expensive.
The Massachusetts rules will require for first time anywhere in the world that renewable energy credits for biomass energy be granted based on a common sense, life cycle assessment of the carbon emissions of burning forest wood to generate electricity.
Packaging Corporation of America worries that the 50 MW We Energies biomass plant will result in unforeseen forest management impacts, including clearcutting of northern hardwood stands for whole tree chips.
The environmental impact assessment from the Department of Energy reads like a biomass industry talking points memo, with whole chunks of text lifted straight from documents submitted by the developer.
Want to know what toxins you’re breathing? Easy visualization from the National Air Toxics Assessment
Using the Google Earth maps allowed us to see that census tracts surrounding the proposed Palmer Renewable Energy biomass plant in Springfield MA already have the highest combined respiratory and cancer risk in Western Massachusetts.
April 12 was a “hazardous” day for air quality in western Massachusetts, yet it's full speed ahead for the Palmer Renewable Energy plant in Springfield, which will be one of the largest emitters of particle pollution in the region.
Power companies in Ohio have set their sights on burning trees for electricity as a way to get a few more years out of their oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants. Ohio has included “trees” in its definition of renewable energy sources. Wood demand to generate the 2,100 megawatts of "renewable" power certified by the State would require nearly 30 million tons of trees per year.
EPA does not need to wait three years to assess the greenhouse gas implications of burning biomass for energy, and doing so will create a fleet of permanently unregulated plants that are huge greenhouse gas emitters.
When the dust settles from the public hearing on the Palmer Renewable Energy biomass plant in Springfield, MA, Hampden country will still be out of compliance with pollution standards for ozone, Springfield's kids will still have asthma and elevated blood lead levels at twice the state average, and the city will still be experiencing high particle pollution. And that's if they don't build the plant.
The Hu Honua plant, an old coal burner which is being converted to burn wood, will emit 20 to 30 tons per year of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and hydrochloric acid, dangerous metals like arsenic and mercury, and harmful combustion byproducts including dioxin.
Carbon dioxide emissions from the biomass boiler will be 3,120 pounds per megawatt-hour, more than six times the 510 pounds per megawatt-hour allowed for the facility’s new natural gas burner.
Many public officials don’t seem to recognize the threat that large-scale biomass plants and wood pellet manufacturing plants present to the State’s forests.
The Manomet study relies on a number of assumptions that minimize the calculation of net carbon emissions from biomass, meaning that actual emissions are likely significantly greater than the study concludes.
The only independent, multi-stakeholder study of the carbon impacts of burning trees to generate electricity found that it would take 40 years of forest regrowth just to get to parity in carbon pollution with burning coal for those same four decades. To get to parity with natural gas would take almost a century.
Acting as if the carbon emitted from trees cut and burned here will be sequestered by trees over there makes as much sense as letting a coal plant write off its emissions because it’s not cutting trees over there, either.