LISTEN: NPR Story on Landfill Gas to Power in Los Angeles

KCRW – NPR’s affiliate in Los Angeles – aired this piece on the City of Glendale’s landfill gas to electricity project, which will produce enough renewable electricity to power 4,000 homes while cutting emissions of methane, a climate super pollutant. BAC’s Executive Director, Julia Levin, is quoted extensively in the story, highlighting the urgency of methane reductions, the benefits of using landfill gas in place of fossil fuels, and the need for renewable power that is available when solar and wind power are not.

LISTEN: “Turning Trash Into Electricity”

California Launches Climate Catalyst Fund for Advanced Technology Forest Biomass to Energy Projects

The California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank (IBank), part of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, is now accepting project proposals for a new state program to combat climate change. Dubbed the Climate Catalyst Fund, the program will jumpstart critical climate solutions through flexible, low-cost credit and credit support. The program is open to both private and public sector applicants and will be flexible in offering a range of financial instruments to support innovative forest biomass projects.

Starting with a $47 million fund, the Climate Catalyst Fund’s initial focus will be on projects that reduce wildfire threats through forest biomass management and utilization. Starting in 2022-23, the Climate Catalyst Fund expects to expand to include climate-smart agriculture projects.

For more information, visit: The Climate Catalyst Fund website.

BAC Members West Coast Biofuels and Kern Oil Featured in Renewable Fuels Article

Th Bakersfield Californian highlights biofuels and other renewable fuels in this article, which also features a new project by West Coast Biofuel and comments from BAC’s Executive Director about the need for increased biofuels produced from organic waste.

READ: The Bakersfield Californian, “Renewable Fuel Production Heats Up in Kern

Glasgow Climate Conference Underscores Importance of Bioenergy to Reduce Most Damaging Climate Pollutants

The United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow highlighted the urgency of reducing Short-Lived Climate Pollutants like methane and black carbon as the most effective steps to reduce global warming. As the head of the UN Environment Program stated, “Cutting methane is the strongest lever we have to slow climate change over the next 25 years . . . we need to urgently reduce methane emissions as much as possible this decade.

In California, organic waste causes 87 percent of all methane emissions, which are 74 times more damaging to the climate than the carbon dioxide emitted from fossil fuel burning. Open burning of forest and agricultural waste, wildfires, and diesel are the largest sources of black carbon emissions, which are 3,200 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide on a 20-year time horizon.

On the positive side, reducing methane and black carbon benefit the climate right away. Reducing fossil fuels – while critically important in the long term – won’t begin to benefit the climate until 2050 or later. In other words, we have to do much more to reduce methane and black carbon to begin cooling the planet down right away. As Dr. V. Ramanathan, a climate scientist from UC San Diego says, reducing methane, black carbon, and other Short-Lived Climate Pollutants is “the last lever we have left to avoid catastrophic climate change.”

Bioenergy cuts methane emissions from landfill waste, wastewater treatment facilities, dairies and other livestock waste. It can also cut black carbon emissions from burning of agricultural and forest waste and from diesel. According to the California Air Resources Board, bioenergy cuts black carbon and methane emissions 98 percent compared to open burning.

For more information, see https://bendingthecurve.ucsd.edu/

SF Chronicle: Reduce Super Pollutants

Reduce super pollutants

The authors of “Carbon neutral not good enough” (Open Forum, July 31) are correct that we need to accelerate our climate goals, but they miss two critical issues: Reductions in carbon dioxide do not benefit the climate for several decades and there are much more urgent steps to cool the climate right away. It is far more urgent to focus on measures that begin to reverse climate change now.

Reducing climate super pollutants methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons benefits the climate and public health right away. These pollutants are tens to thousands of times more damaging to the climate than the carbon dioxide emitted by fossil fuel burning, but they only stay in the atmosphere a short time, so cutting their emissions benefits the climate immediately. We can cut these super pollutants by eliminating diesel use, converting organic waste to energy, and reducing wildfires and open burning of agricultural waste. We absolutely should phase out fossil fuels. But to avert the crisis that is already upon us, we need to focus much more on reducing methane, black carbon and hydrofluorocarbons. Climate scientists agree that reducing these climate super pollutants is the last lever we have left to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Julia Levin, Kensington

The Letter to the Editor is available online (second letter) here.

 

New Fact Sheet Highlights Job Benefits of Bioenergy

See the new Bioenergy and Jobs Fact Sheet developed by Gladstein, Neandross & Associates for BAC and CNGVP.  The fact sheet highlights the jobs and other economic benefits that bioenergy provides from a range of organic waste sources and bioenergy end uses, including electricity generation, pipeline biogas, carbon negative vehicle fuels, and more.

Bakersfield Californian: Bioenergy Interest Heats up in Kern County

The Bakersfield Californian article highlights the many benefits of bioenergy production, from job creation to reduce air and climate pollution.  It highlights the growth of bioenergy projects in Kern County and the opportunities for bioenergy from all organic waste sectors.

Read the article here.

CalMatters: CA Needs Bioenergy and Green Hydrogen for Reliability

CalMatters has published an opinion piece by BAC’s Executive Director that highlights the need for bioenergy and green hydrogen to maintain a reliable and renewable power grid.  The piece underscores the importance of bioenergy and green hydrogen to complement solar, wind and batteries, to provide long duration energy storage and flexible generation power, and to provide renewable fuel for microgrids and backup generators.  The piece makes clear that California can have a 100 percent renewably powered grid, but needs both bioenergy and green hydrogen to ensure that power supplies remain reliable.

See the CalMatters piece here.

Environmental Law News Article on Importance of Bioenergy

BAC’s Executive Director, Julia Levin, wrote an article on why bioenergy is so important for California, published this spring in the Environmental Law News, a twice yearly publication of the California Lawyers Association.  The article describes the importance of bioenergy for meeting California’s climate, air quality, and clean energy goals, the history of bioenergy in California, the obstacles, and what needs to be done to accelerate development of sustainable bioenergy.

Download the article here:

Environmental Law News, Vol. 28, No. 1

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