As usual you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. What you have posted are the dirty little details of the facts of these smoke & mirror projects. I would like to see a tally of the amount of jobs that have been lost (coal, fossil fuel, etc.) with the promotion of these pie in the sky projects.
Unfortunately, this site and the "journalism" community march in lock step with the environmentalists selling Nirvana.
Again...another article on this website that totally misses the gains made in Biomass use in California. CA burns more than 2,000,000 tons of biomass annually to produce power and and offset coal. We have been co-firing with coal for many years now. And pellets? Really? Pellets increase the price of this fuel to the point where you need subsidies. This biomass industry has been surviving on recycled wood wastes (yes I said wastes) since the late eighties with little public support.
If you would like the inside story on the real biomass industry already established here in the states contact me.
Again before posting these "new ideas" do your research.
It always amuses me when I read these articles on the "Biomass Industry" in the US and the writers seldom mention the biggest players in the "industry". California has the most biomass fueled facilities in the nation with the most effective infrastructure to manage the flow of materials. We dealt with the issues of fires 20 years ago and modified the infrastructure to manage this problem. California has been co-firing biomass with coal for several years now and I have personally been a part of three of these projects with several more in process.
Come on guys do your research!
Let's see if this helps:
California Biomass Power Plants
Wheelabrator Shasta Biomass - 50 mw - in service
Williams Energy - 25 Mw - in service
Rocklin Constellation - 25 Mw - in service
Woodland Biomass -25 Mw - in service
Buena Vista Power - 25 Mw - in service
Burney Power - 18 Mw - in Service
Tracy biomass - 20 Mw - in service
El Nido - 18 mw - in service
Chowchilla - 12 mw - in service
Covanta Mendota - 25 mw - in service
Fresno Constellation - 25 mw - in service
Chinese Station Constellation - 25 Mw - in service
Dinuba Energy 15 Mw - in Service
Terra Bella 15 mw - in service
Delano Energy - 50 Mw - in service
Mt Poso DTE - 50 mw coal fired -co firing biomass - in service
Colmac Biomass - 50 Mw - in service.
I may have missed a few.
All of the above facilities burn a combination of urban derived, forest and agricultural wastes.
If you look at the past month on the CAISO website's Supply & Demand charts in California, you'll see where renewables did not approach 10% of the needed supply for a time when it is needed most. I am not sure what (or where) these "experts" get their numbers but to me it looks like renewables are not something that can be counted on for something other than making great talking points for politician's wanting to appear "green".
Electricity from biomass can provide baseload power...solar and wind can't. Biomass is considered more reliable than solar & wind. Biomass recycling diverts millions of tons of waste from landfills.Methane from landfills is one of the largest contributors of GHGs (methane & CO2e.
I have my own "scientific underpinnings" from my hands on experience managing biomass and biogas projects in California and New Jersey over the past 25 years. Landfill gas is the second highest generator of GHG in the nation (next to cement manufacturing). The data to support my claims has been presented by CARB in addition to my own experience.
Not sure why I would need to refer to a study done by those that don't have actual experience with this technology.
Here's a thought,
You can take the millions of tons of Urban forest (landscape trimmings, recycled green wood waste) and put it back in the landfills where it will contribute to one the highest producers of GHG or you can continue to reduce that amount and burn it to reduce the emissions. Either way Joe suburbanite needs his landscaping trimmed and the Cities and Counties across America need their right of ways cleaned up. In California this is the major portion of all biomass that is burned.
I, like you am getting tired of going to blogs and getting inundated with subjective comments that eventually lead to the author, company, sales reps, link.
This self promotion is tainting most of the objective discussion these days.
Renewable Energy is becoming the new mortgage, dot com bubble about to burst.
So it looks like the consensus here is, like with most people I talk with, NO CARBON TAX.
Alternatives are a good goal, but what makes Mr. Tam think that the price of energy from these will be lower than the abundant fuels we are now using (Nat. GAs, coal). Most of these alternatives are being paid a higher energy rate for their output and subsidies will just drive the average consumer costs up even more.
Separate the UAW out of the equation and yes Detroit would actually try and compete with the rest of world on the technology front. You don't think the AFL-CIO attorneys didn't have a hand in CAFE standards?
Jonathon Goldman made the argument about less parts, more profits, but FEWER JOBS! Until the unions concede..........well, don't hold your breath.