EPRI Launches Research on Biomass Fuel Electricity Generation

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched a project to research biomass as a renewable fuel for electricity generation and identify its key research needs, focusing on economic assessment, biomass crop and carbon accounting, biomass combustion and gasification technology.

The EPRI project represents the latest biomass research, initially launched by the Institute in the mid-1970s. EPRI’s members and organizations, which represent more than 90% of the electricity generated in the U.S., collaborate on solutions to the challenges facing electric power, including generation, delivery and use as well as health, safety and environment. Dedicated biomass-fueled electric power plants and burning biomass fuel in coal-fired power plants (a process known as co-firing) can help electric companies cost-effectively reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while generating electricity, the release states. The biomass project complements EPRI’s comprehensive research programs that impact the electric utility industry. Recent analyses indicate that burning biomass fuel has even greater long-term potential for CO2 reduction when growth of biomass fuel crops and carbon capture and storage are combined with biomass generation, thereby supplying electricity with very low GHG emissions. Biomass, mostly residues and byproducts of forest and wood products industries, is the largest non-hydro renewable energy source today, states the release, and is expected to make up a much more significant portion of electricity supply in the future. “Biomass is a fuel for the future that can help electric companies to meet increasing electricity demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming,” said Adam Diamant, EPRI Project Manager.

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