Biomass appears to be gaining more and more momentum. The Wenatchee World just wrote an editorial about the state Department of Natural Resources’ pilot program and had this to say:
If more of the wood fiber produced by thinning and clearing could be put to some beneficial use, it would solve many environmental and economic problems. If this wood — call it biomass now — could be used to produce energy, so much the better….
…(The DNR program) is a small beginning, perhaps, but it ranks as an investment in basic research that could go far to create rural jobs and improve the environment — simultaneously.
In small but significant ways, word is spreading about how biomass can turn wood waste into a valuable source of renewable energy. The La Grande Observer in Eastern Oregon detailed how a 7-person company called Integrated Biomass just started last summer and is thriving.
Company owner David Schmidt said he offers much needed jobs, while also improving the health of forests:
“Wallowa County feels like home. It’s much like where we grew up. We feel passionate about social justice, creating jobs and the lifestyle of a small county. We want to stay in our community, live the lifestyle and work in natural resources.
“Recently, many people have had to move away to get jobs. Tourism isn’t going to be that great if we don’t take care of forest health. We love the outdoors and the mountains. This is an awesome opportunity on every level.”
This week Intel, employing 15,000 people in Oregon, won an award from the EPA for its green energy program, which includes biomass. (The EPA’s site has an interesting guide to purchasing green power, including definitions of some of the terms.)
What do you think of the positive biomass news?