Saturday, April 19, 2014

Biomass Emissions Question Arises Again

It’s called “urban biomass,” and it’s ours (Credit: Click to enlarge.
Hard to imagine a subject that would find The Wall Street Journal and Grist in line with each other’s thinking, but burning wood for energy has achieved it. Neither outlet seems to view the topic positively. Both have cited the scientific work of Dr. Mary S. Booth, a former Environmental Working Group scientist who now works for the Partnership for Policy Integrity.

The basic arguments about using biomass as a source of energy have been around for some years, since bioenergy began to gain a following as an alternative to traditional fossil fuels and nuclear plants.  Flags went up in 2010, for example, when a six-month study by Massachusetts environmental officials found that biomass-fired electricity might cause a 3% greater increase in carbon emissions than equivalent power from coal by 2050.  (The issue does not apply to methane or algae energy generation, also biomass-based.)

The controversy surprised the MA Commonwealth officials, who had thought biomass a partial answer to emissions goals.

Biomass Emissions Question Arises Again

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