14 February 2008

Biomass Combined Heat and Power: One of Many Reasons Why Predictions of the Demise of Biofuels are Premature

Biofuels have taken a lot of abuse in the media--particularly from uninformed commentators with no knowledge of biology. Recent analyses of "1st generation biofuels" in Science should be viewed as belated criticism of Jimmy Carter's sloppy legacy. Decades old methods, propagated by corrupt government tariffs and policies, are not an indication of what biology is gearing up to do. One of the large benefits from bio-energy that is ready for prime time, is biomass combined heat and power (CHP or cogeneration).
Renewable biomass now meets more than 65 per cent of the multinational company's total energy needs and has cut emissions nearly by half over the past five years.

The bioenergy plant will utilize abundant residues from the Cowie factory: bark and wood residue from the manufacturing process. The total amount of biomass now used in green power plants at Nordborg's factories is 1 million tons, equivalent to two million barrels of oil per year....

Biomass is a rapidly growing energy sector in the UK, mainly because it is the most competitive of the renewables and relies largely on existing infrastructures. The world's largest biomass plant is under construction in the country: a 350MW power facility that will provide energy to not less than half of all homes in Wales....According to the recently published UK Biomass Strategy, the total amount of virgin wood available to England, Scotland and Wales for use as fuel is set to increase by 55% over the next decade, from 1.1 million oven dry tonnes to 1.7 million oven dry tonnes per year. Waste wood and biomass resources are larger still.___biopact

Energy problems will be solved by incremental solutions, over time. Solutions should be regional, based upon regional needs and assets. High oil prices are a wake-up call for more energy from all available economical sources. Nuclear fission, unconventional petroleum, clean coal, geothermal, solar, wind, energy from garbage, and bio-energy. We must become more resourceful. Conservation is also necessary--and this blog will explore several promising areas in that regard. All are needed. The denial of the present and future of bio-energy is a propaganda exercise carried out by partisans and the ignorant, who fail to understand the full spectrum of needs and solutions.

The biosphere is remarkably expandable. One cannot base an energy analysis of bio-energy potential based upon current methods, or current levels of available bio-materials. That type of thinking, if honest, is moronic luddism. If dishonest--as when practised by partisans who are boosting alternative forms of energy--it should be ignored as false advertising.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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