Made up of organic materials such as agricultural crops and residues, household, industrial, and forestry wastes, biomass could be converted into enough biofuels and electricity to supply a major portion of our country's current consumption needs.
With today's new technologies, biomass is capable of increasing by 50% the amount of electricity with a given quantity of biomass. Efficiencies are optimized when a combined-cycle gas turbine is used which has efficiencies up to 55%, rather than the conventional steam turbine with a 40% efficiency. Biomass must be changed to its gaseous form, or biogas, for this higher efficiency to occur. Biomass source electricity has grown from 200 megawatts (MW) in the 1980s to more than 8000 MW today. This is a 4000% increase.
Long-term, or dedicated, fuel supplies are needed for power plants to run efficiently. This fuel could come from present set-aside land that could be put into use to grow energy crops. Two advantages from this plan would be bringing income into the country's farming areas and eliminating the present federal government subsidies for this set-aside land.
Biomass also can be converted into biofuels such as ethanol to meet growing transportation needs. This could produce an enormous reduction in the nation's dependency on foreign oil. Compared to reformulated gasoline, biomass-generated ethanol also produces 90% less carbon dioxide and 70% less sulfur dioxide--the major causes of global warming and acid rain.
- Bioheat Tax Credit Program
- Renewable Fuels Production Credit Program
- Landfill Gas Feasibility
- Anaerobic Digestion & Gasification
- E-85 Refueling Station Project