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Category Archives: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada’s forests haven’t absorbed more carbon than they’ve released since 2001

By Sarah Lawrnuik
The Narwhal
May 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Ted Hogg… doesn’t take long before he sees examples of the damage…› the deaths he’s already witnessing from climate change. …Hogg is a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service. For years, some Canadians have hid behind the myth that the country isn’t a net emitter of greenhouse gas emissions because of the presence of such vast forests working as our personal atmosphere vacuums. …But that is no longer the case. …The biggest cause of this shift is what Natural Resources Canada terms “natural disturbances”  — fires, pests, disease and increased mortality. “So we try to figure out ways that we can store the carbon longer,” said Carolyn Smyth, a research scientist with the Pacific Forestry Centre. Smyth and her colleagues are looking at ways to mitigate emissions from managed forests. “In some cases that might be putting the carbon into wood products that we use to build houses, that we use for paper, and for many other uses.”

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Coming soon to a city near you: science tour highlights regional impacts of our changing climate

Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
April 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Canada is warming at an alarming rate — twice as fast as the average rate globally. As we plan for the future, Canadians need a clear picture of how this warming is affecting our economy, our communities and the places we love. That’s why a group of Canada’s top climate scientists recently examined the latest research on what climate change means for Canada in the Canada’s Changing Climate Report. For Earth Day 2019, Environment and Climate Change Canada is announcing that the report authors will host a series of events across the country to talk with Canadians about how climate change will impact them and their communities. Tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Environmental lawyer meets northern B.C. politicians to discuss climate change

Canadian Press in the National Post
May 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Andrew Gage

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. — A lawyer specializing in environmental issues is meeting with politicians from across northern and central British Columbia to discuss the costs of climate change. Andrew Gage, a lawyer with West Coast Environmental Law, is in Williams Lake to attend the meeting of the North Central Local Government Association, which represents elected officials across the region. A statement from West Coast Environmental Law says Gage wants to hear firsthand about how wildfires and other climate-related impacts have affected northern communities, and how local communities are handling those costs. The environment group has received mixed response to its proposal that communities across B.C. identify and plan for the costs of climate change, and to try to recover some of those costs from fossil fuel companies.

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B.C.’s carbon storage is sinking

By Monique Keiran
The Times-Colonist
May 5, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The past two summers saw B.C.’s worst wildfire seasons on record. …Then the mountain pine beetle struck. The epidemic, which affected more than 14 million hectares of pine forest in B.C., cut the legs out from under the province’s — and Canada’s — position as a climate do-gooder. …That renewed calls for B.C. to include wildfire emissions in its greenhouse-gas inventory… Without those… the inventory suggests the forests are soaking up more carbon than they are releasing. …Werner Kurz, a researcher with Natural Resources Canada in Victoria… says good reasons exist for monitoring and measuring emissions from natural disturbances separately from those from human-caused forest emissions. …In a recent paper, Kurz and his team proposed a way to separate the two forest-emissions sources. …The study’s results… include estimates of the delayed release of greenhouse-gas emissions from wood used to build, for example, houses, furniture or shipping pallets.

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Climate change panel hosted at North Island Secondary School

North Island Gazette
April 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Adrian Van Gorkom, Rachel Blaney, Megan Hanacek, and Jackie Hildering

…North Island Secondary School (NISS) hosted a panel discussion and Q&A regarding the impact of climate change in our region. Joining MP Rachel Blaney were NISS student Adrian Van Gorkom, local biologist and forester Megan Hanacek, and “The Marine Detective”, Jackie Hildering. …Megan Hanacek spoke from her experience in forestry about the significant role the North Island plays in the province. She said that today’s harvesting practices incorporate climate change science in the decision process and that an overwhelming majority of experts in the field agree on the effect it has in forest management, as well as a need to adapt sooner than later. Discussing climate change’s effect on BC’s forests, she stated that since the early 90s, over a third of the province’s forests have been killed off by the mountain pine beetle’s spread, resulting in worsening forest fires and billions of dollars lost.

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Canada and British Columbia announce funding to help tackle climate change and reduce emissions

By Environment and Climate Change Canada
Cision Newswire
April 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canada and British Columbia are working together to take climate action and help Canadians access clean solutions that reduce pollution, create good jobs, and support healthy communities. Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, was joined by British Columbia’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman, to announce $140 million in federal support for British Columbia’s Forest Carbon Initiative and $10 million in funding for the new Organics Infrastructure Program. The Forest Carbon Initiative aims to reforest areas lost to forest fires across British Columbia and implement best practices that support healthy, resilient, and productive forests. The program will reduce emissions and sequester carbon while supporting jobs in rural communities.

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Why Solar: Forests – natural carbon sinks

By Lorne Oja
The Red Deer Advocate
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Greenhouse gas emissions, GHGs, produced by Canada annually are approximately 738.3825 MtCO2e. …This amounts to about 1.63% of the world’s total of 45 261.3 (MtCO2e). The Australian National University determined… boreal forests, like those in Canada, store carbon at an estimated 100 tC/ha. Our nation has 24% of the world’s boreal forest, and 9% of the world’s total, according to Natural Resources Canada. The area encompassed is some 4,916,438 square km or at 9.74 ha/person making for the most forest per citizen of any nation. …These numbers augur well for slowing the rise of carbon in the atmosphere. …Yet, given our small population and enormous land mass, we definitely sequester more carbon than we produce. We generate 738.38 MtCO2e, yet our forests sequester an estimated 4 916 MtCO2e. Canadian forests are absorbing more than six times what this country emits.

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Mayor, Pinnacle Pellet COO respond to Clear Air Now concerns

By Karissa Gall
The Interior News
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Smithers Town Council brought new air quality concerns to light at their regular meeting on April 9. In his mayor’s report, Taylor Bachrach told council he met with members of the group Clean Air Now on April 3 regarding air quality concerns related to operation of the Pinnacle wood pellet plant. Bachrach reported the group said they “were seeing a bit more blue haze coming out of the stacks.” He said he has communicated with Pinnacle and that the B.C. Ministry of Environment is also aware of the concerns. Coun. Frank Wray …comment on a related Facebook post by Clean Air Now’s Bulkley Valley contingent. “One was a picture on a clear day and there was a haze of smoke overhead, but it was clearly not from the plant, although it was actually given as visual evidence that it was,” Wray said, adding he assumed the haze was caused by smoke from residential wood stoves.

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Canada helps York Region build climate change resilience through urban forest restoration and enhancement

By Infrastructure Canada
Cision Newswire
May 21, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

François-Philippe Champagne

WHITCHURCH-STOUFFVILLE, ON – Now more than ever, communities need help adapting to the frequent and intensifying weather events caused by climate change. Reducing the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires is critical to keeping Canadian families safe, protecting local businesses and supporting a strong economy and the middle class. The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and Wayne Emmerson, York Region Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, today announced funding for a project mitigating extreme temperatures, while also reducing the impacts of flooding and erosion in York Region. The project involves planting trees and adding natural elements to increase the drainage capacity when heavy rainfalls occur. Urban forests are an essential tool to prevent flooding by reducing the volume of water going into the stormwater collection system. The new trees will also help improve air quality and provide relief from extreme urban temperatures for residents.

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Save the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto

By Peter Kuitenbrouwer
The Varsity
May 20, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

U of T is in the final stages of its plan to eliminate the Faculty of Forestry and move its staff, faculty, students, and programs into the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design as of this July. A news release from the university said that “The proposal would go through the governance process beginning on May 9.” The abolition of the Faculty of Forestry as a standalone faculty is one of the worst ideas in U of T’s history. In an era of climate change, forests are the key to sustaining life on Earth. …We need forests. U of T should show pride in the Faculty of Forestry, and invest in it. …The Faculty of Forestry has gained recognition across Canada for its expertise in promoting the bioeconomy; for example, researchers have succeeded in making car parts out of nano-cellulose.

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Clement Calls On Feds To Support Tree Planting

Hunters Bay Radio
April 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Tony Clement

Yesterday, Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement urged the Canadian government to join international efforts to support the planting of one trillion trees around the world, noting it would help solve the negative impact of climate change, such as increased flooding and reduced biodiversity. MP Clement, made a plea in the House Commons to choose supporting the practical and cost-effective solutions of the Trillion Tree Movement, rather than the endless fight over the carbon tax. There are several international movements engaged in the Trillion Tree Campaign, Clement says, noting that government alone cannot overcome all the challenges associated with climate change. Estimates indicate that planting one trillion trees is the equivalent of eliminating ten years of global carbon emissions. India has already planted one billion trees, Canada could plan two billion trees and be a leader in Carbon emission reduction.

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CO2 Solutions Successfully Completes Commissioning of it First Commercial Carbon Capture Unit

By CO2 Solutions Inc.
Cision Newswire
April 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC CITY — CO2 Solutions is pleased to report that, after only two weeks, it has successfully completed the commissioning of its first commercial carbon capture unit. The project, with Fibrek General Partnership, a subsidiary of Resolute Forest Products and Serres Toundra, involved the deployment of a 30-tonne per day CO2 capture unit and ancillary equipment at the RFP pulp mill in Saint-Félicien, Quebec and the commercial reuse of the captured CO2 by the adjacent Serres Toundra greenhouse facility. As part of the commissioning phase, the CO2 Solutions contracted Tetra Tech, an independent consulting engineering services firm, to review the Unit’s operational efficiency and deliver a performance audit report. …confirmed the… Unit and its components are accurately sized to produce at least 30 tonnes-CO2per day under normal operating conditions.

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The Loophole: How American forests fuel the EU’s appetite for ‘green’ energy

By Carson Vaughan
The Food & Environment Reporting Network
April 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

…At the end of the lane, a company called Enviva processes trees and scraps to make more than 500,000 metric tons of tiny, compressed wood pellets every year, nearly all of it trucked to its port facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, and bound for Europe. Once a merely residential product, wood pellets now power massive electric utilities in countries like the UK, where the government has subsidized the transition from coal and other fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. …According to the Rachel Carson Institute, Enviva alone — which currently owns and operates seven plants in the southeastern United States — is responsible for clearcutting 50 acres of southern forestland every day, much of it a mix of hardwoods critical for wildlife habitat and absorbing the carbon dioxide rapidly warming the planet. …Companies like Enviva push back, claiming that this argument ignores the reality of modern forestry.

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Large-scale forest carbon sequestration could cause food prices to skyrocket

By Brian Walheimer, Perdue University
Phys.org
April 23, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

…One of the cheapest and most efficient ways to capture and store carbon is through increasing forested lands. …That solution would come at a price, however, according to a Purdue University study led by Wally Tyner, the James and Lois Ackerman Chair in Purdue’s Department of Agricultural Economics. Meeting half the Paris Agreement’s goal for atmospheric carbon reduction would send food prices soaring, especially in developing economies. …”Significant forest carbon sequestration leads to reductions in food supply at the same time we’re expecting population increases. This is a simple supply and demand problem.” …”Forest carbon sequestration is not the silver bullet. On a small scale, it’s an efficient way to capture carbon. But if you try to take it too far, forest land competes with cropland, and then the poor would see huge increases in food prices,” Tyner said.

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Most Teachers Don’t Teach Climate Change; 4 In 5 Parents Wish They Did

By Anya Kamenetz
Oregon Public Broadcasting
April 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

More than 80% of parents in the U.S. support the teaching of climate change. And that support crosses political divides, according to the results of an exclusive new NPR/Ipsos poll: Whether they have children or not, two-thirds of Republicans and 9 in 10 Democrats agree that the subject needs to be taught in school. A separate poll of teachers found that they are even more supportive, in theory — 86% agree that climate change should be taught. These polls are among the first to gauge public and teacher opinion on how climate change should be taught to … children. …But there are other factors at work, too, in the decision of whether to cover climate change. For example, almost a third of all teachers say … they worry about parent complaints. …Some teachers we heard from mentioned the divisiveness of the issue and the difficulty in dealing with students whose parents are deniers of climate change.

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Arizona Public Service says it can convert coal plant to biomass quickly

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
May 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Converting a coal-burning power plant to biomass could produce 84 megawatts of electricity annually by 2022 — likely saving a faltering effort to thin a million acres of forest in the next 20 years, according to a just completed study by Arizona Public Service.The massive utility said if the Arizona Corporation Commission gives the go-ahead and requires utilities to buy at least 90 megawatts of biomass power annually, it could start on getting permits for the conversion from coal to biomass immediately.Local officials who have spent the last decade supporting the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) greeted the announcement with joy. …4FRI aims to protect thousands of miles of streams from the effects of catastrophic wildfires in the thick, overgrown forests.He noted that 70 percent of the thinning projects actually completed in the past decade have been in the White Mountains, thanks to the existing Novo Power biomass burning plant.

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The level of carbon dioxide on Earth is highest it’s ever been since the existence of mankind

By Devika Desai
The National Post
May 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Data from a Hawaii observatory has recorded atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over 415 ppm, marking a historic precedent. There is more carbon dioxide on the planet than ever since the dawn of humanity, according to a Hawaii observatory. Data from the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has recorded atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at 415.26 parts per million (ppm), marking a historic precedent in the last 800,000 years, since before the evolution of homo sapiens. “Not just in recorded history, not just since the invention of agriculture 10,000 years ago. Since before modern humans existed millions of years ago,” tweeted Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist. “We don’t know a planet like this.”

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Yellowstone’s Grizzlies Wandering Farther from Home and Dying in Higher Numbers

By Johnathon Hettingg
Inside Climate News
May 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Over the past 200 years, these [Yellowstone National Park] forests provided a last refuge for grizzly bears in the contiguous U.S. from the westward expansion of towns, farms and ranches. In the high-altitude forests, the bears could rely on squirrels’ caches of whitebark pine seeds as an abundant and important food source. Today, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is one of just two places—along with Glacier National Park—where large populations of grizzly bears can be found in the Lower 48. But those dying forests [pine beetle] signaled trouble for Yellowstone’s grizzly bears and their already diminishing food supply. As warmer winters allowed the beetles to spread and devastate the whitebark pines, the bears have been increasingly wandering out of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s high-altitude forests and into more human environments, and they are dying in greater numbers than they have in decades, federal data show.

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Inslee signs bill establishing 100% energy standard in Washington

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
May 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Jay InsleeWashington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a suite of clean energy legislation into law May 7, including The Washington Clean Energy Transformation Act, which sets a goal of 100 percent clean electricity by 2045. The bill, SB 5116, was introduced in January. …According to Inslee’s office, the bill aims to phase out all coal power by 2025 and achieve a carbon-neutral electricity supply by 2030. It also sets a goal for the state to transition to a 100 percent clean electricity supply by 2045. The bill’s definition of renewable resource includes renewable natural gas and biomass energy, including the organic byproducts of pulping and the wood manufacturing process, animal manure, solid organic fuels from wood, forest for field residues, untreated wooden demolition or construction debris.

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New paper: State’s cap-and-trade program is falling short of goals

By Will Kane
University of California, Berkeley
May 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

California regulators are overestimating the impact the state’s cap-and-trade system is having on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new policy brief from a researcher at UC Berkeley’s Center for Environmental Public Policy. …Barbara Haya argues that the California Air Resources Board has made rosy assumptions about a program protecting forests that may only have accomplished 18% of the emission reductions it claims have been made. The discrepancy could be as much as 80 million tons of carbon dioxide since 2013, which is equivalent to more than the total annual emissions from California’s entire electricity sector. …At issue is California’s U.S. Forest Projects offset protocol, an incentive program designed by the state to encourage forestland owners across the country to manage forests in ways that increase the amount of carbon stored in them.

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Navajo County, 4FRI support push for more biomass energy

By Peter Aleshire
White Mountain Independent
April 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — Backers of sweeping efforts to restore millions of acres of fire-prone forest have mounted an all-out campaign to convince the Arizona Corporation Commission to create a market for biomass. Officials from the forested areas of the state menaced by the rising toll of megafires in the thickly overgrown forest have appealed to the ACC to require the utilities it regulates to buy at least 90 megawatts of energy annually generated from the slash, saplings and debris harvested by forest thinning projects.The 4-Forest Restoration Project (4FRI) has been stalled for close to a decade by the lack of a market for the millions of tons of biomass generated by thinning projects. The succession of 4FRI contractors have thinned only about 15,000 acres, in large measure for lack of markets that would make thinning projects profitable.

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Corporation commission mulls biomass energy solution as 4FRI works to open forests

By Scott Buffon
Arizona Daily Sun
April 21, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service is working on the next step of its large-scale forest restoration plan, while the Arizona Corporation Commission considers using forest byproducts for energy production.The Arizona Corporation Commission has begun discussions to create a rule that would force Arizona Public Service to use items like branches, bark and small trees, also called biomass, to generate electricity.Meanwhile, Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) has been pushing has been working on its new Rim Country project area plan. The Rim Country project area would span the Coconino, Tonto and Apache forests southeast of Flagstaff and the first project area.Both actions could help attract private contractors to help with the thinning projects aimed at preventing disastrous wildfires.

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Forest management research to help fight effects of climate change

By Mike Wolterbeek
University of Nevada
April 18, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Prolonged drought, landscape-level bark beetle mortality and catastrophic wildfire have been increasing in frequency, extent and severity over the past few decades, and western forests will be increasingly stressed as temperatures rise and climate change effects intensify. Leading a team of scientists and forest managers, Sarah Bisbing, a forest ecology assistant professor and researcher from the University of Nevada, Reno, is building a Sierra Nevada-wide study, the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Experiment, known as AMEX, to identify alternative forest management treatments that will improve conifer forest resistance and resilience to climate change. Bisbing, a faculty member in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science, received a $2.8 million grant from CAL FIRE’s Forest Health Grants Program to implement this large-scale, replicated experiment in collaboration with state and federal land management agencies.

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Eastern forests shaped more by Native Americans’ burning than climate change

By Jeff Mulhollem
Penn State News
May 21, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Native Americans’ use of fire to manage vegetation in what is now the Eastern United States was more profound than previously believed, according to a Penn State researcher who determined that forest composition change in the region was caused more by land use than climate change. …Over the last 2,000 years at least, according to Abrams — who for three decades has been studying past and present qualities of eastern U.S. forests — frequent and widespread human-caused fire resulted in the predominance of fire-adapted tree species. And in the time since burning has been curtailed, forests are changing, with species such as oak, hickory and pine losing ground. …But this phenomenon does not apply to other regions, Abrams noted. In the western U.S., for example, climate change has been much more pronounced than in the East. 

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The heat is on: Vermont schools show a way to bolster Maine’s timber industry

By David Singer
WGME.com
May 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND — The costs to harvest lumber have been increasing, but wages for loggers and truckers have not been rising to keep up, according to a March study from the University of Southern Maine. It says stiff competition from similar-skilled jobs are pulling away labor forces from the forest products industry, but newly successful logging education programs and tax relief in Maine, coupled with demand for new forest products, and lessons from wood consumption culture in Vermont, could help a resurgent rise in pay for the industry. …Duran and supporters have over the past five years planted several efforts in the legislature. …The dire forecast in 2015 pushed Duran to lobby the legislature to help fund a new education program with Maine’s community colleges: The Mechanized Logging Program.

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Atlantic Power Announces Agreement to Acquire Ownership Interests in Two Contracted Biomass Plants

By Atlantic Power
Cision Newswire
May 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

DEDHAM, Mass. — Atlantic Power Corporation announced that it has executed an agreement to acquire, for $20 million, the equity ownership interests held by AltaGas Power Holdings in two contracted biomass plants in North Carolina and Michigan. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Closing is expected by mid-2019. …Craven County Wood Energy is a 48 megawatt biomass plant in North Carolina that has been in service since October 1990. …Grayling Generating Station is a 37 MW biomass plant in Michigan that has been in service since June 1992. …Both plants are operated by an affiliate of CMS Energy. There is no project-level debt at either plant.

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University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture awarded nearly $1 million to study wood biomass logistics

By University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Biomass Magazine
May 14, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A team of researchers at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has been awarded a grant for nearly $1 million to determine the key parameters for high-quality, year-round woody biomass feedstock logistics systems for commercialized biorefineries in the Southeastern United States. The long-term goal of the study is to expedite the pace of developing a commercialized cellulosic biofuel sector by improving the efficiency of the logistics systems of woody biomass feedstock required for biofuel production. …However, developing efficient and innovative technologies and strategies to meet the national target while balancing the cost and quality of biomass in a logistics system has been an ongoing challenge. …The key outcome of the three-year study will be a regional biofuel development plan utilizing woody biomass in the Southeast. 

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New Plan To Add Biomass Power Subsidies To Electric Rates Draws A Crowd

By Annie Robeik
New Hampshire Public Radio
May 8, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

State senators heard three hours of testimony Tuesday from dozens in the New Hampshire forest products industry who support a plan to resurrect biomass energy subsidies. The plan… is a version of a law passed last year that’s since stalled in a legal challenge before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The state’s biomass plants have also appealed to the state Supreme Court for the law to be enforced. Timber and biomass workers say all this uncertainty has already chilled their industry, leading power plants to idle and orders of woodchips and equipment to go undelivered. Without a financial boost – from the subsidy plan that would last three years – they say they could lose hundreds or thousands of jobs. …Others suggested the state’s timber industry could collapse without the market for low-grade wood that the biomass plants provide.

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Former Greenpeace Leader Dr. Patrick Moore to Chair CO2 Coalition

By CO2 Coalition
Cision PRWeb
May 6, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Patrick Moore and Kelly McCloskey

The CO2 Coalition is proud to announce that ecologist Dr. Patrick Moore will serve as Chairman of their Board of Directors. The new leadership will educate the public about the benefits of carbon dioxide, the main building block of life on Earth. They will explain how the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere from human emissions is spurring increased growth of crops, forests and plants…. They will highlight the U.S. government data showing that the modest warming, even if caused in part by industrial CO2 has resulted in no increase in extreme weather such as hurricanes and droughts or changes in the rate of sea-level rise. …Commenting on his new role Dr. Moore stated, “We aim to position the CO2 Coalition as the go-to source for information on the benefits of CO2 for the environment and civilization. Human CO2 emissions are causing a greening of the Earth, which will increase agricultural and forestry production, as well as increasing the fertility and abundance of global ecosystems.”

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Timber firms push wood-waste power

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette
April 23, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

ATLANTA — Representatives of Georgia’s timber industry want its byproducts to help power the state. The plan involves branches and other scraps of wood — organic matter which could be turned into fuel, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported. Industry officials recently asked the Georgia Public Service Commission to take steps that would ensure “biomass” is more broadly used by Georgia Power. “We’ve got mountains and mountains of biomass,” said Clay Crosby, the chief executive of Twin Rivers Land and Timber in Perry. Some of it was left after storms such as Hurricane Michael, which carved its way across a million acres of timberland last year. Environmental groups have debated how clean the technology is.

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Increasing ecosystem carbon is good for species, says new study

By Gloria Pallares
Forests News, Center for International Forestry Research
May 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

It is widely assumed that land uses that increase carbon in biomass and soil to mitigate climate change also benefit biodiversity. But that might not always be the case. Until recently, there was no clear picture on what the most likely carbon-boosting strategies, such as planting trees in open lands and halting deforestation, meant for biodiversity. In response, scientists from the Center for International Forestry Research(CIFOR) and partner organizations decided to study the relationship between payments for adding ecosystem carbon and the level of biodiversity in 12 landscapes across seven countries –Finland, Indonesia, Mexico, Laos, Peru, Tanzania and Vietnam. “We wanted to understand the impact of the most common ways of increasing carbon in practice, because it might not always follow the general trend,” says lead author and associate professor with Peking University Markku Larjavaara. 

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Rooting for a sustainable future: how forest resources can help tackle climate change and air pollution

UN Environment
May 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Forests are among the most valuable treasures on earth: they supply energy from timber, help with water regulation, soil protection and biodiversity conservation. Yet in traditional forest management, trees are still primarily viewed as a source of wood. All other products derived from wooded lands… are considered of secondary importance. Non-timber forest resources, however, have far-reaching benefits for millions of households, both in terms of subsistence and income. …Over 90 per cent of the annual yields of wild and cultivated herbs are sold as raw material to Germany, Italy, France and the United States, making Bulgaria one of the world’s leading suppliers in this sector. …In addition, forests act as carbon sinks and can remove pollutants from the atmosphere. …Every year, they absorb one third of the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels worldwide.

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How to Make Money Off Rainforests Without Cutting Them Down

By Lucas Foglia
Bloomberg
May 16, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

How do you save a rainforest? Create a national park, hardcore conservationists would say. That isn’t practical, though, if you’re a nation with 45 million acres of rainforest—an area about the size of Washington state—and a per capita income of just over $8,000 a year. “A tree left standing is not valuable to a family who can’t feed their children three square meals a day,” says Pradeepa Bholanath, head of planning and development for the Guyana Forestry Commission. With the help of international donors, Guyana, a country of fewer than 750,000 people, is pioneering an approach to protecting the trees that cover more than four-fifths of its surface. To make the rainforest last, it’s using it up slowly. Norway signed a deal with Guyana in 2009 offering it as much as $250 million to curb deforestation, and with it, climate change.

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Fighting climate change with bamboo

By Liyana Hasnan
The Asian Post
May 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…The International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation suggests that bamboo can play a significant role in helping countries meet the United Nations’ sustainable development goals or SDGs and help combat the effects of climate change. …The preference for bamboo is perhaps due to its availability and inherent strength. Bamboo comes from the botanical family of grasses that is resistant to tensile stress. …However, bamboo does have a few weaknesses including vulnerability to attacks by fungus, swelling and shrinking behaviour, all of which can be overcome with coating and treatments. …Unfortunately, in some countries like Malaysia, its usage in urban areas still proves to be a challenge as local building codes and standards do not recognise bamboo as a proper building material, especially with regards to fire safety.  

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Calls for urgent climate change action as species in the world’s oldest forest disappear

By Stephanie Smail
ABC News, Australia
April 30, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Scientists working in the world’s oldest rainforest, Queensland’s Wet Tropics, have warned climate change is already wiping out animals that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. New figures show some species in the World Heritage Area, that stretches from Townsville to Cooktown, are in sharp decline, particularly after the hottest summer on record. The government-appointed Wet Tropics Management Authority has issued a public statement calling for urgent action on climate change.

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UN biodiversity conference to lay groundwork for Nature rescue plan

The Associated Free Press in the Egypt Independent
April 29, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Diplomats from 130 nations gathered in Paris on Monday to validate a grim UN assessment of the state of Nature and lay the groundwork for a rescue plan for life on Earth. The destruction of Nature threatens humanity “at least as much as human-induced climate change,” UN biodiversity chief Robert Watson said as the five-day meeting began. …A 44-page draft “Summary for Policy Makers catalogues the 1001 ways in which our species has plundered the planet and damaged its capacity to renew the resources upon which we depend, starting with breathable air, drinkable water and productive soil. …Twenty 10-year targets adopted in 2010 under the United Nations’ biodiversity treaty — to expand protected areas, slow species and forest loss, and reduce pollution — will, with one or two exceptions, fail badly. …The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services document, once approved, will be released on May 6.

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Renewable Energy Industry gears up for strategic summits on Biomass and Offshore Wind Power in Tokyo, this May

Cision Newswire
April 24, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

TOKYO  — Supporting Japan’s plans to decarbonize its economy, CMT hosts two summits — annual 10th Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Summit and the newly launched – OWP Japan (Offshore Wind Power) in Tokyo from 13-16 May and 15-17 May 2019, respectively. …The annual Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Summit celebrates its tenth edition with global biomass buyers and sellers discussing Japan’s latest biomass power projects, biomass sustainability and certifications, investments, supply logistics, technologies, plus demand and supply trends. Summit’s keynote speakers are from – Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Renova, Sumitomo Corporation, Government of BC, Kansai Electric Power Company.

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Concerns raised over ESB biomass plans at oral hearing

Green News
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Three national environmental groups have raised concerns over plans for ESB’s peat plants at a hearing into the semi-state’s plans to co-fire biomass with peat at one of the Midlands stations. Appearing at an An Bord Pleanala oral hearing in Tullamore yesterday, Friends of the Irish Environment (FiE) said that the Board should refuse permission for the ESB’s application for permission to operate a peat and biomass plant at its West Offaly facility in Shannonbridge. The utility is seeking permission from 1 January 2021, the day after its current permission for the peat-fired plant expires. …FiE argues, however, that the Board should not allow the ESB to operate a peat and biomass plant as many forms of biomass are environmentally damaging. In the case of woody biomass, more emissions can be produced than the burning of coal, the group said. Woody biomass is currently classified as carbon neutral by the EU.

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Protesters gather outside Drax AGM

By Greg Jones
Utility Week
April 17, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A protest, led by the Biofuelwatch group, has been held today (17 April) outside Drax’s annual general meeting (AGM) in London. The campaigners gathered to protest at the company, whose power station they claim is the UK’s single biggest emitter of C02, for the “disastrous impacts of its biomass, coal and gas burning on climate, forests and communities”. In March, biomass generation plants such as Drax’s were under threat from a lawsuit filed with the European general court, seeking to change forest wood’s designation as a renewable fuel. The group assembled with percussion instruments, banners, placards, and pictures of the animals whose habitats are supposedly threatened by the biomass industry.

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Bioproducts are an important part of Maine’s economic future

By Jamie Chittum, president of the board, Biobased Maine
Bangor Daily News
May 15, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

For too many of our rural communities in Maine, it’s a familiar tragic story: declining industries led to job loss, the hollowing-out of beautiful downtowns, and an exodus of young people and families from once-thriving communities. …At the same time, a booming global industry now offers these rural communities an opportunity for new growth and revitalization. Demand for biobased manufacturing, which means making products out of renewable resources instead of oil and gas, is rapidly rising around the world, because sustainable plant-based products are better for people and the planet. With Maine’s robust forest products industry, our ample supply of sustainably harvested wood, and research at the University of Maine’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute that has demonstrated many of the exciting industry applications for biobased chemicals and products made from our sustainably harvested forest residuals, our state is uniquely poised to grab a share in the growing global “bioeconomy.”

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