Category Archives: Biomass

EU could cut 40% emissions with little cost: and we can, too

If Europe can do it, the U.S. can do it. And we know Georgia can get a third of its power from wind, and even Spain is north of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, which have a lot more sun for solar power than anywhere in Europe. Solar power is already winning, even in Georgia. Let’s help it win even faster, plus wind.

PR from Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) 16 January 2014, EU could cut emissions by 40 percent at moderate cost,

The costs of achieving a more ambitious EU climate target are estimated to be moderate. Upscaling greenhouse-gas emissions reduction from the current 20 percent by 2020 to 40 percent by 2030 would be likely to cost less than an additional 0.7 percent of economic activity.

And that apparently doesn’t count the additional economic activity that would be produced by all those wind and solar deployments, not to mention related activities like electric cars. This is actually a pessimistic study, because it doesn’t account for such likely positive corollaries.

Many options to choose from—wind power could expand sevenfold

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Spectra opens Valdosta office next to Industrial Authority, scene of 2011 anti-biomass protests

VP of Stakeholder Outreach Susan Waller doesn’t want visitors at Spectra’s new office in Valdosta. Which is in the same building as the Industrial Authority, which also didn’t really want some visitors it got during the biomass controversy.

Matthew Woody wrote for the VDT yesterday, Sabal Trail opens Valdosta office,

Susan Waller, vice president of stakeholder outreach and sustainability said, “That is our right-of-way office. It has about 30 right-of-way agents, survey crews, our files and documents, and a few meeting rooms.”

The office houses agents for three counties and will be open in Valdosta for approximately five years, Waller said.

Sabal Trail has eight offices along the pipeline’s route, she said.

“These are not really the facilities for residents to drop by to express concerns because all of the agents will be in and out of the office constantly; however, they could call and make an appointment.”

The VDT didn’t mention that Continue reading

Fracking at VSU

It’s good to see fracking reviewed in the VSU Spectator, including that it’s coming to Georgia unless we stop it, and we should stop it. It’s unfortunate the story ends with a bad idea when there’s a much better idea already rapidly being deployed: solar power.

Stephen Cavallaro wrote yesterday for the VSU Spectator, Fracking hits Georgia,

Fracking, the process of harvesting the environmentally unfriendly natural gas called shale that is being pushed by the government, plows its way through Georgia.

More like being pushed by fossil fuel companies who have bought too many politicians.

In March, I discussed a deal backed by the government between British-owned Centrica and American-owned Cheniere. The agreement was that Cheniere would spread toxic chemicals across America in order to fuel millions of British homes.

Kind of like Continue reading

Nuke overruns already causing distributed solar in south Georgia

People are tired of irresponsible trash government at the state level colluding with monopoly utilities to hold Georgia back in distributed solar power, and some of us are doing something about it; you can, too.

Jigar Shah wrote for SaportReport 15 September 2013 Solar more viable as Georgia’s new nuclear power plants face overruns,

I am seeing Georgia’s nuclear financial woes starting to prompt a boon for distributed energy including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, low-impact hydro, high efficiency cogeneration, and other sources of electricity.

Biomass? Let’s not go back to that carbon-polluting forest-destroying factory-exploding waste of time and resources. Solar, wind, efficiency, and conservation are the main events, with solar increasingly leading the pack. And those nuke cost overruns are already driving solar up even faster: Continue reading

Budget Telling Tonight @ LCC 2013-06-25

Tonight you can go be told what the county’s budget will be, 5PM at the county palace. If you want to see the proposed budget, you’ll have to go their beforehand and view the one paper copy they are required by law to show you. They say they’re short of money, so why are they wasting taxpayer funds suing a legitimate business?

On the county’s online calendar: Budget Public Hearing (6/18/2013)

PUBLIC NOTICE
The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing for the purpose of considering
the Fiscal Year 2014 proposed budget on the following dates:

June 18, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

June 25, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.

Location:
Lowndes County Commission Chambers
327 N. Ashley St.
Valdosta, GA

A copy of the proposed budget is available for public review in the office of the County Clerk.
For questions please call 671-2400.

Kay Harris wrote for the VDT 19 June 2013, Lowndes County facing budget woes,

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UK biomass plant exploded from Waycross wood pellets

Explosions in Tilbury, England, explosions in Waycross: south Georgia wood pellet dust blowing up here and there and producing CO2 when burned there. Why is “the world’s largest wood pellet plant” a better use of Georgia foresters’ resources than solar farms, which don’t pollute and don’t explode?

Josh Schlossberg wrote for The Biomass Monitor 24 May 2013, Biomass Industry Plays With Fire, Gets Burned,

A massive fire raged inside wood pellet silos for RWE’s Tilbury Power Station in Essex, UK, on February 27, 2012. The biomass incinerator—the largest in the world at 750 megawatts—had just been converted from coal to woody biomass a month earlier. RWE claims no single cause can be attributed to the fire, but suspects that smoldering wood pellets triggered the dust fire.

In a recent editorial (apparently not online), Robert Farris Executive Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, wrote that Georgia has nine wood pellet plants. He didn’t name them, but Biomass Magazine has a list of U.S. wood pellet plants, including these in Georgia (I added the City column): Continue reading

Harrisburg just keeps getting worse

After Harrisburg, PA defaulted on its incinerator bonds, started selling off pieces of itself, and threatened bankruptcy (twice), now the SEC is suing the city for fraud.

James O’Toole wrote for CNN Money 6 May 2013, SEC sues financially troubled Harrisburg,

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued the city of Harrisburg for fraud, alleging that officials in the Pennsylvania capital misled the public about the city’s financial condition.

The SEC says the misleading statements came in the city’s 2009 budget report, its annual and mid-year financial statements and a “State of the City” address. The case marks the first time the SEC has charged a municipality with misleading investors in statements made outside of securities documents.

Harrisburg has been mired in

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Apple: from 35% to 75% renewable energy in two years

All it takes is the will to get it done, and Apple is doing it: from 35% renewable energy in 2010 to 75% in 2012, and 100% at all Apple data centers. Cost? They’ll save more than they spent. Time for Georgia Power and Southern Company to stop dragging their feet and help us get on with it in Georgia.

Peter Burrows wrote for Bloomberg Thursday that Apple got nudged:

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Renewable Portfolio Standards: GA, NC, and ALEC

Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards (RPS) are being proposed in Georgia and ALEC is trying to do away with them in North Carolina. If ALEC doesn’t like them, there must be something good about RPS. Let’s get on with real renewable energy in Georgia.

In Georgia, HB 503, sponsored by Karla Drenner, Carol Fullerton, Debbie Buckner, Scott Holcomb, Spencer Frye, and Earnest Smith, would create a Renewable Energy Credits Trading program as part of renewable portfolio standards, as Kyle wrote for Spencer Frye’s blog 10 March 2013, Let the Sunshine In. Unfortunately, HB 503 includes biomass as a renewable energy source. Maybe they just mean landfill gas, which I consider a special case since it’s being produced anyway, and since methane is worse as a greenhouse gas than CO2, burning landfill gas makes some sense. Nope, in the actual bill, 46-3-71 (1):

‘Biomass material’ means organic matter, excluding fossil fuels and black liquor, including agricultural crops, plants, trees, wood, wood wastes and residues, sawmill waste, sawdust, wood chips, bark chips, and forest thinning, harvesting, or clearing residues; wood waste from pallets or other wood demolition debris; peanut shells; cotton plants; corn stalks; and plant matter, including aquatic plants, grasses, stalks, vegetation, and residues, including hulls, shells, or cellulose containing fibers

The barn door in there is “harvesting”, which can mean whole trees, but the rest isn’t much better. We don’t need to be burning things that increase atmospheric CO2 and end up stripping our forests. In North Carolina they staretd with just tops and limbs and then tried to escalate to whole trees. We already fought off the biomass boondoggle here in south Georgia; let’s not have it encouraged statewide. Especially when we have better solutions: solar and wind power. HB 503 isn’t going to get passed this year, since it didn’t make crossover day, so maybe its sponsors can clean up that biomass mess before they submit it again.

Speaking of North Carolina, Continue reading

Want to finance solar? Call GA Sen. Jack Murphy today about SB 51

A Georgia Senate committee needs to take it up a bill that would greatly ease financing solar power for your housetop or business roof. Sen. Jack Murphy is the chair, and you can contact him today.

GA SB 51, The Georgia Cogeneration and Distributed Generation Act, was read to the Senate 16 January 2013 and referred to the Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities. Here’s contact information for the Chair of that Committee:

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