Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Biomass Energy Industry Needs Guidelines, Not Crippling Regulation

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It looks to me like these changes may represent good moves. Without these restrictions in place, companies would be incentivized to clear cut forests for their energy content. This is not long term thinking.
That said, if there is excessive regulation of the processes, rather than simple benchmarks that let companies work in a transparently free market, the regulation will be self defeating. (Ouch, this fence is really digging in.)

Biomass energy industry decries proposed efficiency regulations

Incentives tied to emissions cuts

By Michael Norton

State House News Service / September 21, 2010

New Patrick administration rules restricting tax credits for biomass energy, aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, are facing strong pushback from industry and labor officials, who say the changes will stifle job growth.
The draft regulations were released Friday evening and targeted for a mid-October public hearing. The regulations would permit credits only for projects that can demonstrate substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and require biomass units to meet a new high-efficiency standard.
The rules allow renewable energy credits only for power produced with biomass fuels derived from forest residue, forest salvage, and energy crops, a constraint designed to ensure forest sustainability. With restrictions, trees removed in forest management thinning operations are considered eligible biomass fuels, according to a Department of Energy Resources overview of the regulations.

The regulations would also create a fuel certification, tracking, and verification system to ensure that eligibility criteria are met, with an advisory panel established to review compliance and the state required to conduct a “forest impact statement’’ every five years.

He described a limited amount of feedstock for biomass in New England and a “big’’ difference in greenhouse gas implications between electric-only biomass plants and those that combine heat and power. The regulations, he said, “mean putting our incentives towards the more efficient types of facilities and grandfathering out incentives for some of the electric-only facilities.’’

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

September 22nd, 2010 at 9:14 pm