California Farmers Back Bill To Subsidize Biomass Plants

Local farmers are adding their support to legislation that would divert revenue from California’s cap-and-trade program to biomass plants that generate power by burning agricultural and urban green waste. Last month the Kern County Farm Bureau co-hosted a meeting in Delano to raise awareness of Assembly Bill 590 and help an industry the group called […]

Local farmers are adding their support to legislation that would divert revenue from California’s cap-and-trade program to biomass plants that generate power by burning agricultural and urban green waste.

Last month the Kern County Farm Bureau co-hosted a meeting in Delano to raise awareness of Assembly Bill 590 and help an industry the group called “very important” to local growers, in that biomass plants take trimmings and old trees that would otherwise be more expensive for farmers to dispose of.

AB 590, co-authored by Assemblymen Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield, and Brian Dahle, R-Bieber, is making its way through the state capitol at a time when California’s biomass industry says it is having a hard time competing with cheaper sources of electrical power, including solar panels and natural gas.

The industry says biomass plants, of which Kern has two, deserve the state’s financial support because they reduce carbon emissions and divert waste from landfills. Biomass is not without its critics. The editor of Biomass Monitor, Josh Schlossberg, said green waste is better disposed of through composting, and that the facilities’ emission filters let through fine particulates and volatile organic compounds. “Pretty much every pollutant that’s emitted by a coal plant is also emitted by a biomass plant,” he said.

But without biomass power plants, many Central Valley farmers would probably burn their waste in a far more polluting fashion, said Matt Barnes, director of operations and finance at Covanta Delano Power. The 50-megawatt biomass plant employs 50 full-time workers on Pond Road and burns more than 1,200 tons of biomass per day. He said biomass plants also reduce demand for fossil fuels and, by combusting wood that would otherwise produce methane during decay, removes a big source of greenhouse gases.

From The Bakersfield Californian: http://www.bakersfieldcalifornian.com/business/kern-gusher/x1103034060/Farmers-back-bill-to-subsidize-biomass-plants

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

POST A COMMENT

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

Subscribe

Looking to subscribe to Wood Bioenergy magazine? It's simple, just follow the link to our online subscription form and complete the required fields and submit. If you'd rather talk to a real live human being, feel free to give us a call at (800) 669.5613'

Contact

To contact Wood Bioenergy magazine, either call (334) 834-1170 or email us at [email protected]

TAG CLOUD