Biomass Magazine’s August issue highlights the role of small-scale forest bioenergy projects to reduce wildfire risks and impacts. The article focuses on Phoenix Energy’s North Fork project, West Biofuels’ Hat Creek project, and other BioMAT projects using forest waste to reduce wildfire risks.
The Bakersfield Californian ran a front page story on San Joaquin Renewables’ project in MacFarland, Kern County, which will convert agricultural waste to low carbon vehicle fuels and biochar. The project will provide huge benefits to the San Joaquin Valley, by providing an alternative to open burning of the agricultural waste and replacing diesel in heavy duty trucks. The project will also provide about 50 good jobs in the County, which suffers high levels of unemployment. And, it will provide carbon negative emissions because it will avoid black carbon emissions from open burning and diesel use, plus carbon sequestration from the biochar.
See the full article here.
On November 4, the California Board of Forestry adopted a forest biomass utilization plan that recommends many actions to put California’s extensive forest waste to beneficial re-use, including numerous bioenergy recommendations. Some of the most important recommendations related to bioenergy are:
- Consolidated permitting
- State procurement of bioenergy
- Inclusion of forest biomass in microgrid tariffs
- Allocating 20% of electricity and gas R&D funding (EPIC and PIER) to forest biomass, including biomass to hydrogen projects
- Adopting pipeline standards for biomass and hydrogen
- Incentivizing both electricity and pipeline interconnection for forest biomass projects
- Incentivizing use of forest biomass under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard
- Increasing BioMAT category 3 (forest waste) to 250 MW and allowing Community Choice Aggregators (CCA’s) and publicly owned utilities to participate in the program
- Requiring a portion of new RPS power to be baseload and flexible generation
Bioenergy and its byproducts – biochar or digestate – can reduce powerful Short-Lived Climate Pollutants and restore carbon to the soil, which are two of most urgent steps needed to reverse climate change. An important study just released by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab shows that the biochar and digestate produced as a byproduct of bioenergy, can provide half or more of all the carbon needed to return California’s natural and working lands to net carbon sinks. This is a critical piece of California’s overall climate strategy and the study by LBNL shows that biochar and digestate can provide a really significant part of the solution.