EPA’s Clean Power Plan Considers Biomass

From: Wood Bioenergy Staff The Environmental Protection Agency’s “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” also called the “Clean Power Plan,” was published in the Federal Register in mid-October, which launched a 90-day and possibly longer public feedback period before a possible revision and implementation. According to EPA, the Clean […]

From: Wood Bioenergy Staff

The Environmental Protection Agency’s “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” also called the “Clean Power Plan,” was published in the Federal Register in mid-October, which launched a 90-day and possibly longer public feedback period before a possible revision and implementation.

According to EPA, the Clean Power Plan will reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 32% (870 million tons less) by 2030, while reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide from power plants by 90% and nitrogen oxides by 72%.

The measure is a reflection of the U.S. commitment toward addressing climate change and carbon dioxide pollutants, according to EPA. It establishes interim and final carbon dioxide emission performance rates for two subcategories of existing fossil fuel-fired EGUs: fossil fuel-fired electric utility steam generating units and stationary combustion turbines. The Plan provides guidelines for the development, submittal and implementation of state plans, allowing renewable energy standards and programs as part of those plans. It also allows for “emissions trading” between states and power plants.

“States can tailor their plans to meet their respective energy, environmental and economic needs and goals, and those of their local communities,” according to EPA.

The EPA plan cracks the door open for new forest biomass power generation as part of renewable energy considerations in the state plans, but doesn’t guarantee acceptance of biomass as carbon neutral.

Biomass power plants in operation in 2012 or earlier are exempt because only affected EGUs using fossil fuels are subject to emissions reductions requirements. Biomass is defined as a compliance strategy in the CPP.

Read more on this story in the upcoming issue of Wood Bioenergy magazine…

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