Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower

Biofuel Company Stands with Senators to Promote Renewable Energy

The President and CEO of Future Energy Resources Corporation said Tuesday the United States needs an energy policy that uses emerging bioenergy technologies to their fullest potential.

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2002-02-28 [] Inge Fretheim, speaking at a news conferences with Senators Jim Jeffords (I-VT) and Harry Reid (D-NV), charged that a national Renewable Portfolio Standard similar to that being proposed by Jeffords, will be one of the critical elements in establishing a long term energy policy. “My company operates a biomass gasification plant in Vermont — the first of its kind in this country — at which we employ a significant number of residents of that state,” said Fretheim. “I would like to do this in every state. We have plenty of biomass resources — tree trimmings, wood waste, agriculture residues — but we do not have a national energy policy that provides incentives to use this biomass productively.” Rather than sending agriculture and urban wastes to landfills, the American Bioenergy Association (ABA) strongly believes that this non-hazardous biomass could be converted to electricity, fuels, and chemicals. Because the cost of traditional energy resources is currently so low, however, these biomass technologies will need policy incentives. The coal, natural gas, and nuclear industries were subsidized for years as they made their way into the market; the same should be true for Renewable Energy technologies, the ABA believes. Both the House and Senate energy bills contain authorization for ramped-up research and development of biomass and production tax credits for biomass electricity generation. The Senate bill also contains a renewable fuels standard (promoting the production of biomass ethanol) and a renewable portfolio standard (setting a percentage requirement of Renewable Energy). Jeffords has introduced S. 1333 that sets an even higher percentage requirement. “I would like to see the United States provide incentives for Renewable Energy as both biofuels and biopower,” said Fretheim. “As a businessperson who has made that investment in clean energy technologies, I can envision a day when our nation is powered by renewable resources.”