As we wrote just a few months ago, the ground is beginning to decisively shift regarding the topic of climate change, and broad public recognition and acceptance of the impending consequences associated with it is now rippling through the finance and corporate sectors.
Many leaders at both political and corporate levels are taking proactive measures in their own camps. Moving beyond the hyperbole, the real discussion is turning from “should something be done,” to “what can be done.” As a result, the wave of public sentiment over climate change is now driving significant changes in investment, corporate and political behavior.
Biomass power has a significant role to play as state and national energy portfolios are expanding to include more renewable feedstocks, greener resources, and sustainable power generation patterns. As we have demonstrated over the years, woody biomass is a widely available, sustainable and renewable feedstock that has surged in popularity and has been incorporated at scale over the last decade. However, roadblocks continue to create an unlevel economic field that renewable energy providers are forced to play on.
For carbon-neutral biopower to be broadly deployed in our power generation system, it is necessary for biomass renewable energy to become more economically competitive to fossil energy power generation. This can easily be accomplished if the use of fossil fuels were to carry the associated costs of net carbon addition, which it currently doesn’t have to do. Fossil energy continues to get a “free ride” while enjoying the benefits of favorable tax treatments.
Advocacy for Renewable Biomass Power
Currently, the biomass power industry reduces carbon emissions by more than 30 million tons each year and provides 14,000 jobs nationwide, many of which are in rural areas.
The Biomass Power Association (BPA) recently produced an educational video detailing some of the primary benefits of woody biomass and biomass power. BPA is the nation’s leading organization working to expand and advance the use of clean, renewable biomass power, and the Association represents 80 biomass power plants in 20 states across the US.
BPA is a member-driven organization with the goal of increasing the use of biomass power and creating new jobs and opportunities in the biomass industry. BPA is actively involved in the legislative process and supports policies that increase the use of biomass power and other renewable energy sources in America’s energy portfolio. As policymakers at every level explore ways to lower greenhouse gases and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, BPA is the leading advocate for a strong commitment to clean, renewable biomass energy.
Let’s work together to level the economic playing field for biomass renewable power and apply the same subsidy level for CO2 emission avoidance compared to fossil power generation. If that were to be accomplished, the economics of biopower would become instantly competitive and we could finally move forward with large scale deployment of this important element of our renewable energy portfolio.