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THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 05 Jun 2014, 19:09:52

Graeme, what do they plan to burn?

Tulips?
/sarc
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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 05 Jun 2014, 19:33:36

Report provides global overview of bioenergy, biofuel development

A new report published by Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21) provides a global overview of advances in renewable energy development, including development related to bioenergy, ethanol and other types of biofuels. The analysis is titled the “Renewables 2014 Global Status Report.”


According to the report, 88 GW of power capacity from biomass was in place globally at the close of 2013, up from 83 GW the prior year. In 2004, less than 36 GW of biomass energy capacity was in existence. Biomass was used to generate an estimated 405 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy in 2103, up from 350 TWh in 2012. In 2004, only 227 TWh of energy was generated from biobased fuels.

The report indicates that biomass demand continued to grow steadily in the heat, power and transportation sectors last year. “Total primary energy consumption of biomass reached approximately 57 exajoules (EJ) in 2013, of which almost 60 percent was traditional biomass, and the remainder was modern bioenergy (solid, gaseous, and liquid fuels),” said authors in the report.

Heating accounted for the majority of biomass use last year. According to the report, modern biomass heating capacity increased about 1 percent, reaching 296 GW of thermal energy. With regard to pellets, the report notes that demand for modern biomass is driving increased international trade in solid biofuels. Overall, the European Union imported about 6.4 million metric tons of pellets last year, with 75 percent of imports coming from North America. In 2012, only 55 percent of European pellet imports came from North America.

According to the report, about 60 percent of total biomass used for energy purposes is traditional biomass, including fuel wood, crop residues and animal dung that are used developing countries for cooking, heat and some lighting. The remaining 40 percent is used in modern bioenergy applications. This modern biomass share includes approximately 13 EJ in thermal applications, 5 EJ converting to produce biofuels, and approximately 5 EJ to generate electricity.

The U.S. added an estimated 0.8 GW of biopower capacity last year, reaching 15.8 GW by the end of the year. Solid biomass accounted for two-thirds of total biobased fuel, with the remainder coming from landfill gas, organic municipal solid waste and other wastes.

The European Union has about 34.5 GW of biopower capacity, and biopower accounted for 5 percent of new capacity last year. Electricity generated from biomass, however, increased by 7 percent, reaching 79 TWh.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 06 Jun 2014, 17:18:48

New insights into biomass breakdown provided by scientists

How a recently discovered family of enzymes can degrade hard-to-digest biomass into its constituent sugars has been the focus of new study. The enzymes -- lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) -- are secreted by both fungi and bacteria and have the ability to 'chip away' at cellulose and other intractable materials. This allows cellulosic materials such as plant stems, wood chips and cardboard waste, as well as other tricky polysaccharides such as insect/crustacean shells, to be broken down.


Professor Davies said: "To begin fermenting materials such as wood chips or plant stems, there needs to be a way of breaking into it. The action of an LPMO makes a scratch on the biomass surface which provides an entry point for other enzymes. Understanding how LPMOs work will aid the quest for second generation biofuel production."


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 07 Jun 2014, 19:16:12

Study Looks Into Trends in Forest Biomass for Energy in EU

European Forest Institute (EFI) along with the International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy (IINAS) and Joanneum Research conducted a study on current trends in forest biomass for energy in Europe, carbon balance and the sustainable potential.

The study analyzed the role of sustainable woody bioenergy in the future EU energy system for electricity, heat and transport fuels, taking into account the potentials for energy efficiency, and non-bioenergy renewables.

Three scenarios were modeled to evaluate how sustainable woody bioenergy could be used by 2020 and 2030:

• The reference scenario (REF) is based on the EC 2013 PRIMES reference (pdf). Overall demand for material uses of wood will increase, and co-firing of imported pellets becomes relevant. In REF, bioenergy from EU forest will provide about 1700 PJ by 2030, and woody residues and short rotation coppice (SRC) will contribute with 1300 PJ while about 750 PJ of wood pellets would be imported to the EU. Non-woody bioenergy would contribute about 600 PJ.

• Two contrasting scenarios—one for greenhouse-gas emission reduction (GHG), and one for ambitious sustainability (SUS) assume more stringent energy efficiency and higher renewable energy targets.

• The reduced GHG emissions scenario (GHG) considers C stock changes for forest bioenergy, and implements cascading use of woody material. With that, the use of EU forest products is reduced to 1100 PJ by 2030, and imports can be reduced by 80 %. Domestic woody bioenergy from residues, wastes and SRC would supply 3100 PJ by 2030, a doubling compared to the REF scenario. Non-woody bioenergy use would also increase to 1200 PJ, mainly from straw, and manure.

• The sustainable bioenergy scenario (SUS) assumes same demand as in the other scenarios but reduces forest bioenergy use to avoid associated risks, especially from imports. As in the GHG scenario, cascading use of woody material is massively increased. The use of EU forest bioenergy will be only about 350 PJ by 2030, and no woody bioenergy would be imported. The use of woody residues, wastes and SRCwould increase to 2700 PJ, and non-woody bioenergy would contribute about 3100 PJ.

The implementation of stringent energy efficiency measures in all scenarios would significantly reduce the final energy demands for heat and transport while electricity demand could remain almost constant.


Overall, the study found that the lower mobilization of forest resources would be sufficient to meet woody material demands only if resource efficient cascades and stringent energy efficiency measures were implemented.

The full text of the study is available online (pdf).


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 08 Jun 2014, 18:09:21

This is also posted on front page but needs to be here too.

Talkin' trash: Are we literally throwing away energy?

Philipp Schmidt-Pathmann wakes up every day thinking about trash. What got him thinking about it in the first place is how much of it is simply dumped into landfills across America when most of what is not recyclable could instead be turned into energy for homes and businesses everywhere.

Schmidt-Pathmann has seen a better approach in his native Germany where only about 1 percent of all municipal waste goes into landfills. This compares with about 68 percent in the United States of the 400 million tons discarded annually, he explains. (Exact numbers are hard to come by, but he prefers figures collected by Biocycle Magazine.) Germans recycle almost 70 percent of their municipal waste and burn almost all the rest to turn it into energy.

Schmidt-Pathmann is founder and executive director of the Zero Landfill Initiative based in Seattle. He says that the United States could add 12 gigawatts (billions of watts) of electricity generation by expanding waste-to-energy facilities even if the country upped its percentage of recycling to that of Germany's. The United States currently recycles about 25 percent of its waste. Burning all the landfill waste currently available would provide an extra 33 gigawatts. That would be the equivalent of 33 large electricity generating plants.

But, Schmidt-Pathmann thinks he knows why there is so much resistance to the German model in the United States.

First, Americans still believe that burning waste is a dirty business, giving off toxic fumes and plumes of smoke. But modern waste-to-energy facilities produce little in the way of air pollution using up-to-date technology to reduce emissions to a minimum. High-temperature burning breaks apart the bonds of toxic chemicals.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 10 Jun 2014, 20:47:50

UK energy projects sign contracts for renewable energy incentives

The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change has announced eight renewable energy projects have officially signed the first contracts under the government’s electricity market reforms. The list includes three previously-announced biomass projects, including the biomass conversion of Drax Unit #1, a 645 MW facility in Selby, North Yorkshire; the biomass conversion of Lynemouth Power Ltd., a 420 MW facility in Ashington, Northumberland; and the development of the 299 MW Teesside project by MGT Power Ltd., a proposed dedicated biomass facility with combined-heat-and-power (CHP). The other five projects are off-shore wind projects.

According to the DECC, the eight projects will are expected to add an estimated 4.5 GW of renewable capacity in the U.K., accounting for approximately 14 percent of the renewable capacity expected to be brought online by 2020. The projects are also expected to lead to the reduction of about 10 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

“We have put in place a framework of sustainability criteria and reporting requirements for biomass which covers these projects. These will ensure that we only provide support for biomass plants which meet the appropriate legal requirements for low carbon generation,” said MP Michael Fallon in a written statement posted to the DECC website. “These contracts are just one of the electricity market reform (EMR) measures designed to ensure a reliable, diverse and low-carbon power market. DECC has robust plans to deal with security of supply, working jointly with National Grid and the energy regulator Ofgem.I am grateful to all applicants for their participation in the FID Enabling for Renewables process. The level of interest in the process demonstrates industry support for EMR and the healthiness of the renewables sector in the U.K.”


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 13 Jun 2014, 18:16:43

New USDA Report Validates Sustainability of Biomass

Experts from Iowa State University and the United States Department of Agriculture (UDSA) have dtermined that after five years of soil nutrient data gathered at POET-DSM’s Project Liberty site are consistent with more than 500 site-years of additional soil research. The research team has concluded that the results show that biomass harvesting, which is now being done in the Emmetsburg, Iowa area, is consistent with proper farm management.


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Report highlights benefits of coal to biomass conversions

A new report published by FutureMetrics shows that converting old coal plants to burn wood pellets provides a ready-to-go solution for meeting carbon mitigation goals while creating jobs. The white paper, authored by FutureMetrics President William Strauss, discusses the costs of fuel switching to pellets compared to the costs of other pathways to lower carbon emissions. The paper is titled, “A Cost Effective, Job Creating, and Ready to Deploy Strategy for Baseload Dispatchable Low Carbon Power Generation.”

“The data used in the analysis shows that converting an older pulverized coal power plant to wood pellet fuel results in a cost per megawatt-hour (MWh) that is surprisingly low and very competitive relative to other power generation methods,” wrote Strauss in the paper. “This analysis also shows that more jobs are needed to supply pellet fuel than are need to supply coal for the equivalent power output.”


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 07 Jul 2014, 19:31:28

JAPAN BIOMASS ELECTRICITY GENERATION BOOMING

Currently the installed biomass electricity generation capacity is about 5 times higher than for geo-thermal energy production – a fact often overlooked in superficial discussions.

Biomass electricity production is included in Japan’s new feed-in-tariff program which started in July 2012, and is also very generous.

The figure above shows approvals for electricity generation projects from biomass under the new feed-in-tariff program, and demonstrates that after a slow start, approvals are now picking up. The sum of biomass generation facilities operating before the introduction of the new feed-in-tariffs plus approvals since July 2012 approaches 4 GigaWatt, which corresponds approximately to the generation capacity of 4 nuclear reactors.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 11 Jul 2014, 19:31:55

Small-scale biomass projects could have significant impact

As discussed in previous articles the large residual biomass (10 million odt) will require government and industry working together to encourage the eventual phasing out of cull pile burning. In the meantime small local projects will provide some valueable information on the use of the non saw log material as well as employing locals.

For remote communities considering green energy projects there are two sources that should be consulted. The first one is “An information Guide on Pursuing Biomass Opportunities and Technology in BC.” The second one is “Green Heat Initiatives small scale biomass district heating handbook for Alberta and BC. March 2014.” The most encouraging aspect of the second reference is that two examples of the new initiatives are in the Chilcotin. In 2011 pellet furnaces were installed in the Alexis Creek and Tatla Lake schools. Both references provide an excellent guide for communities or small business contemplating some form of green energy heating systems or alternate energy production.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 19 Jul 2014, 17:22:37

Study Finds Biomass Boilers Are a Viable Option for Heating Federal Buildings

After operating the first biomass boiler in the Ketchikan Federal Building, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has concluded that biomass boilers are a viable alternative for hot-water-heated buildings where natural gas is unavailable.

According to a study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), biomass boilers will be most cost-effective for buildings in cold northern climates within 50 miles of a wood pellet mill. Of the more than 1,500 GSA-owned buildings, researchers identified approximately 150 assets as potential candidates for biomass heating technology.

“This study allowed us to pilot a sustainable technology that supports GSA’s goal of improving the efficiency of federally owned buildings,” said GSA Regional Administrator George Northcroft. “And the results are extremely encouraging and hopefully continue a larger conversation about overall movement toward a more sustainable, abundant and locally-produced energy source in Southeast Alaska.”


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 24 Jul 2014, 17:48:42

Government must urgently rethink its bioenergy strategy

Commenting on the biomass carbon calculator tool, unveiled today (Thursday 24 July 2014) by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which calculates the carbon impacts of burning trees for energy, Friends of the Earth’s bioenergy campaigner Kenneth Richter said:

“This important new research confirms that burning trees from overseas forests in our power stations can have a bigger impact on our climate than burning fossil fuels.

“The Government must urgently rethink its bioenergy strategy. Rather than writing blank cheques for firms like Drax the Government must introduce full carbon accounting for bioenergy in the UK, and ensure that cutting emissions is at the heart of all our energy policies.”


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 31 Jul 2014, 18:19:42

DOE Offers Up $11 Million For Bio-Acrylonitrile – What Is That Stuff, Anyways?

We haven’t been paying much attention to a acrylonitrile lately, or come to think of it ever at all, but when we heard that the Energy Department has just awarded $11 million in R&D grants to manufacture this colorless liquid petrochemical from biomass we figured it must be pretty important.

Well, it is. If the US is going to kick a carbon-neutral economy into high gear, acrylonitrile is going to play a key role. Aside from some pesky toxicity issues, this petroleum-derived chemical is a feedstock for the kind of high performance, lightweight carbon fiber that goes into wind turbine blades, flywheels, and electric vehicles such as that BMW i3 we were just talking about.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 07 Aug 2014, 20:38:18

The potential consequences of Drax's legal defeat on biomass subsidies

It is hard to keep up with the twists in the tale of Drax's attempts to win fixed-price government subsidies to help convert two of its dirty coal-fired units to run on biomass pellets.

Short version: the company thought it was nailed-on favourite to get two so-called contracts for difference, which are designed to encourage investment in renewables by guaranteeing prices on generated electricity for 15 years. It applied for two units and they were ranked joint first in the provisional ranking of projects last year.

In the event, only one made the cut when the Department for Energy and Climate Change (Decc) named eight qualifying projects in April. Drax appealed and won in the high court. Now it has lost in the court of appeal. Cue an 8% slump in the share price.

Is the outcome really that bad? As Liberum's Peter Atherton says, Drax has bet its corporate strategy on biomass and the economics of conversion depend entirely on government subsidy. So the legal defeat is definitely serious if Decc's enthusiasm for biomass has cooled, for environmental reasons or otherwise.

On the other hand, these interim contracts for difference (as opposed to the planned "enduring" ones that will arrive soon) are not the only form of subsidy. Support is also available under the renewables obligation. Drax will now consider its options under that scheme. The disadvantage is lack of certainty on price, but maybe the financial risks are worth taking anyway. Clear it ain't – but that's today's energy market.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 12 Aug 2014, 20:38:15

Biomass researcher works on pipelines for green gold

Alberta is missing out on one of the simplest and most abundant fuel sources that exists on Canada’s fertile prairies, says a University of Alberta researcher. And the only real barrier to development is transportation, he says.

Working under Amit Kumar, the associate industrial research chair in energy and environmental systems engineering, Mahdi Vaezi is studying how best to pump biomass — in this case the waste from the processing of crops such as wheat or corn — directly from farmers to biorefineries through pipelines currently reserved for more traditional energy sources.

“There is no large scale bio-based facility operating in the world,” Vaezi said. “The main reason is because of the transportation and logistical issues.”

Vaezi has been testing the viability and economic feasibility of a biomass pipeline, formulating the dilution mixtures, monitoring fire hazards, assembling and reassembling pipes in search of clogs, and creating a technical picture of why biomass pipeline transportation needs to become common.

He is conducting his research in a custom-built closed-loop pipe 25 metres long and five centimetres in diameter. Vaezi has spent so much time in the lab that he can no longer hear the near-constant, deafening hum of the engines that pump his green gold in a way that might be just feasible enough to adopt.


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Largest biomass project of its kind underway in MO

Construction is underway on an $80 million renewable energy project that is said to be the largest biomass project of its kind by the developer Roeslein Alternative Energy, LLC (RAE).

Crews are currently installing impermeable covers on 88 existing lagoons to harvest biogas, or RNG, from Murphy-Brown of Missouri, LLC (MBM) -- the livestock production subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Inc. The project utilizes manure from one of the biggest concentrations of finishing hogs in the Midwest to create several hundred million cubic feet of RNG annually for regional distribution.

Impermeable synthetic covers will be placed on existing nutrient treatment lagoons where barn scraper technology will deliver raw nutrients of livestock manure to covered lagoons. The covers turn the lagoons into anaerobic digesters, where naturally occurring microorganisms decompose the manure in an oxygen-free environment. Biogas rises to the top where it will be collected and cleaned of impurities. What remains is more than 98 percent methane with approximately the same chemical composition as natural gas that can be used for vehicle fuel or injected into the natural gas grid system. The indigestible solid residue can be used by local farmers as a natural fertilizer and the water can be safely used for irrigation.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 13 Aug 2014, 20:05:47

Biomass for energy generation is on the increase worldwide, according to AcuComm Waste Futures

Biomass is an increasingly popular option as a feedstock for power generation. According to the July analysis of the Waste Business Finder database, published in Waste Industry Sales Monitor (http://www.acucomm.net/wism), there were 43 such projects, with an identifiable value of US$1.3 billion.

The popularity of biomass is being driven by the array of biomass types - from animal/agricultural waste, through domestic food waste to forestry residues - allowing countries to specialise in the types most available to them. In this way, developing countries such as Burma, Honduras or Nigeria, which all reported developments in the month, can more easily meet their growing electricity generation needs.

But biomass is also being adopted in established markets where technical advances in biogas, anaerobic digestion and gasification are seeing biomass play a more important role in the waste management mix.

Biomass offers efficient, environmentally-positive generation and helps secure provision in a world where traditional fuels are subject to price fluctuation and adverse geopolitical influences.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 19 Aug 2014, 18:14:09

Waste-to-Energy Could Supply 12% of US Electricity

If all of the municipal solid waste (MSW) that is currently put into landfills each year in the US were diverted to waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants, it could generate enough electricity to supply 12 percent of the US total, according to a study conducted by the Earth Engineering Center (EEC) of Columbia University.

According to the study, this shift also could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 123 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.

2014 Energy and Economic Value of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), including and Non-recycled Plastics (NRP), Currently Landfilled in the Fifty States, found that the recovery of resources from waste, and hence, diverted from landfill, in the US increased between 2008 and 2011. The recycling of materials from MSW improved by 18.5 million tons, and the tonnage of materials processed by WTE facilities grew by 3.8 million tons during this period.

The study’s authors noted that, while some individual states have invested in infrastructure to boost recycling and energy recovery from MSW — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire topped the list — overall, European countries have set a much higher bar.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 25 Aug 2014, 22:53:58

Europe is burning our forests for “renewable” energy. Wait, what?

In March 2007, the E.U. adopted climate and energy goals for 2010 to 2020. The 27 member countries set a goal of reducing carbon emissions 20 percent by 2020 and increasing renewables to 20 percent of their energy portfolio. Unfortunately, they underestimated the carbon intensity of burning wood (a.k.a. “biomass”) for electricity, and they categorized wood as a renewable fuel.

The result: E.U. countries with smaller renewable sectors turned to wood to replace coal. Governments provided incentives for energy utilities to make that switch. Now, with a bunch of new European wood-burning power plants having come online, Europeans need wood to feed the beast. But most European countries don’t have a lot of available forest left to cut down. So they’re importing our forests, especially from the South.

Of course, wood is in some sense renewable: Trees can be regrown. But in other ways it’s more like fossil fuels than it is like solar and wind. After all, the whole obsession with renewables isn’t just because we fear running out of fossil fuels. It’s because burning fossil fuels produces CO2 that causes global warming. The same is true of burning wood, unlike wind or solar.


The E.U.’s initial rationale was not totally crazy — it just turned out to be totally wrong. Citing research that suggested that young trees consume more CO2 than older trees, policymakers figured that burning a tree for energy could be carbon neutral if you planted a replacement tree.

More recent studies, however, have shown that to be much too optimistic. Not all young trees consume more CO2 than older trees — it depends on the species and various other conditions. The process of chopping trees into wood pellets and shipping it across the Atlantic, and the energy involved in burning it all, add to the total carbon intensity.


Dogwood has launched a campaign to pressure American and British energy utilities to stop burning whole trees for electricity. (It says that burning sawdust left over at sawmills is relatively harmless.)


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 09 Sep 2014, 17:48:10

Are Carbon Capture and Storage and Biomass Indispensable in the Fight Against Climate Change?

Meeting aggressive climate change mitigation objectives and limiting the rise of atmospheric CO2 to 450 parts per million may depend on the ability to capture carbon from power plants and industry, derive energy from biomass, and even pair the two to go “carbon negative” and draw down CO2 from the atmosphere.

According to an international effort to compare and assess 18 models of the global energy-climate-economic system organized by Stanford University’s Energy Modeling Forum, worldwide efforts to mitigate dangerous climate change and halt the rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) to 450 parts per million (ppm) in the atmosphere may depend on two technologies: the ability to capture carbon from power plants and industrial facilities and store it in geological formations and to derive energy from biomass.

The researchers agreed that global greenhouse gas emissions will need to be cut in half by 2050 and fall to zero or even below that by 2100 in order to keep atmospheric concentrations of these climate-warming gases below the equivalent of 450 ppm of CO2. That would give the world a roughly even chance of halting global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, an internationally-agreed target intended to prevent the most dangerous effects of climate change.

Meeting the 450 ppm goal means the power sector must be completely carbon-free by 2050. Using carbon capture and storage (or CCS) technology at power plants can help. But capturing carbon may be irreplaceable in the industrial and heat sectors, where there are few other options to reduce CO2. Unfortunately, CCS is currently expensive and still at a demonstration stage. If it does not become widely available soon, aggressive climate goals may become virtually impossible—only four of the 18 models could even generate a feasible solution to meet the 450 ppm goal without CCS.

Biomass is also important because of its versatility. Energy from crops, wood, and waste can be used to produce low-carbon fuels for power generation, heat, industry, and transportation. In addition, since biomass captures carbon from the air as it grows, pairing biomass energy with CCS can even draw down atmospheric CO2 levels. Going “carbon negative” may be necessary, the modelers find, as it allows the world to compensate later in the century for the likely possibility we will overshoot the 450 ppm goal in the nearer-term.

Publication: “The role of technology for achieving climate policy objectives: overview of the EMF 27 study on global technology and climate policy strategies,” Climatic Change 123 (3-4), April 2014: 353-367.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 12 Sep 2014, 19:59:07

Biomass as an alternative to traditional energy sources

Dependence on traditional power sources such as coal or oil-fired plants is still a reality in several Latin American countries. While nations rich in natural resources place their bets on wind, solar and hydropower by stimulating investment in such projects, other must import fossil fuels to be able to generate electricity.

Fuel purchases mean a high price, and this is the case twice over: the expense is hard to pay for the importing country, and their emissions can damage the environment.

In countries like Costa Rica, the government is strongly committed to making big changes to the energy mix. In 2009 Costa Rica decided to reduce oil imports and seek alternative energy sources, including biomass.


Sugar cane-producing countries – and there are others such as Cuba, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela – should seriously consider the use of sugar cane bagasse for energy purposes.


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Re: Biomass Thread

Unread postby Graeme » Sat 13 Sep 2014, 18:52:02

North America's Largest 100% Biomass-Fueled Power Plant Opens in Ontario

North America's largest power plant fueled completely by biomass, the Atikokan Generating Station conversion, is complete and the station is now generating electricity and helping meet local power needs in northwestern Ontario.

Atikokan Generating Station, which employs 70 full-time workers, burned its last coal two years ago, on Sept. 11, 2012. Conversion of the station began in mid-2012 and included construction of two silos and boiler modifications to accommodate the biomass. The project employed over 200 highly skilled trades people and technical workers.

A coal-free energy mix will lead to a significant reduction in harmful emissions, cleaner air and a healthier environment, they believe.

The biomass used to fuel Atikokan Generating Station is being harvested and processed in Ontario. It will provide renewable peaking power, and can be turned on when electricity demands are highest. OPG has contracts in place with two companies in northwestern Ontario to supply the wood pellets. Rentech Inc. and Resolute Forest Products Canada will each supply 45,000 tonnes of wood pellets annually.


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Graeme
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