National Academy of Sciences Paper Underscores Need for Bioenergy

Some energy advocates and environmental groups have been claiming that the U.S. can meet all its energy needs with solar, wind and energy storage. The National Academy of Sciences has released a paper that criticizes that view as likely to be dangerously expensive if achievable at all. The NAS paper strongly recommends the inclusion of bioenergy in a low carbon portfolio to provide power that is easily dispatchable (available when needed) and that can be carbon negative.

Download the 6-page paper by the National Academy of Sciences:  NAS – Need for diverse portfolio to decarbonize

World Leaders in Bioenergy

The San Francisco Chronicle printed a Letter to the Editor by BAC’s Executive Director about the benefits of bioenergy for grid stability, to reduce landfilling and prevent burning of organic waste.  The LTE focuses on Germany and Denmark, where bioenergy provides a much larger share of the countries’ renewable power than in California.

See World Leaders in Bioenergy – SF Chronicle LTE

The Climate Trust Issues Report on Clean Energy Jobs

The Climate Trust, a BAC member, has assessed job growth and losses by energy sector, state and region of the country.  Its findings make clear that states with clean energy requirements and carbon policies are creating large numbers of new jobs – far more than are being lost in the coal industry, which has been shrinking for decades.  Nationwide, clean energy jobs have increased more than 400 percent just since 2010, from 175,000 jobs then to 800,000 jobs now, with the biggest gains in rural areas of the country.

Read the full article here.

BAC Member Sierra Energy Wins Roddenberry Prize!!

Sierra Energy has been awarded a prestigious Roddenberry Prize for its innovative FastOx system that converts waste to energy.  Sierra Energy is building a new waste to energy facility on the U.S. Army’s Fort Hunter Liggett in Monterey County, which will be commissioned later this year, to help the Army meet its zero waste and zero net energy goals.  Sierra has several other waste to energy projects in development in California.

To learn more about the Roddenberry Prize and Sierra Energy, click here.

imageFHL Jan 2017

More than 66 Million Dead Trees in Southern Sierras

The California Department of Forests and Fire (CalFire) now estimates that there are more than 66 million dead trees in the Southern Sierras alone, with many additional dead trees throughout California.  According to CalFire, the number of dead trees has increased from 3.3 million in 2014 to 29 million in 2015 and now more than 66 million in just six counties.  The huge increase in tree mortality is due to a combination of drought, climate change and bark beetles.  The Governor’s Emergency Proclamation on Tree Mortality calls for removal of dead and dying trees in High Hazard Zones and conversion to bioenergy and other beneficial uses.   To learn more, see CalFire’s news release.

Caterpillar and Orange County Waste & Recycling Announce Landfill Gas to Energy Project

BAC members Orange County Waste & Recycling and Caterpillar just announced the opening of a landfill gas to energy project at the Bowerman landfill, east of Irvine.  The project will produce enough renewable, flexible generation power for thousands of homes, produce good local jobs, and generate millions of dollars in new revenues for the County.  The $60-million project, one of the largest on the West Coast, was financed by Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation (Cat Financial).  To learn more about the project, visit Orange County Waste & Recycling’s website or click on one of the news stories below.

San Jose and Zero Waste Energy Launch 1.6 MW Anaerobic Digestor

San Jose

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SAN JOSE — The nation’s largest facility for turning food scraps into biogas is about to go online in north San Jose.

The project is a unique partnership between GreenWaste, which collects garbage, recycled materials and compostibles, and Zanker Road Resource Management, which operates recycling facilities. The two firms formed the Zero Waste Energy Development Company in 2011 to take organic recycling to the next level: extracting energy.


CalBio, MT-Energie and SMUD Partner on New Dairy Digester in Galt

cows and dairy digester

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California Bioenergy (CalBio) and technology partner MT-Energie have developed a new advanced dairy digester facility at New Hope Dairy in Galt, California. Manure from the 1200 cow operation will produce approximately 450 KW of electricity for both on-farm use and interconnection to the SMUD (Sacramento Municipal Utility District) grid. German firm MT-Energie built the New Hope facility with technology developed and long used in Europe.

SMUD board President Bill Slaton stated that anaerobic digester biogas has become a vital part of the utility’s energy portfolio. About 27 percent of SMUD’s total energy supply comes from renewable sources. “It’s a hedge against costly peak-hour power,” Slaton said. The New Hope generator produces energy that SMUD will use during the peak hours of 4 to 7 p.m.

“This should be the first of 100 projects. We’re the No. 1 dairy state in the country. We should be the No. 1 dairy digesting state,” said Julia Levin, Executive Director of the Bioenergy Association of California.