Written by: Nancy Heimann
February 22, 2016
While many believe the Supreme Court’s decision to stop President Obama’s Clean Power Plan was a blow to meeting carbon emission standards, a window may have opened for a new form of biomass as a cost-effective, viable option to reach sustainability goals.
The Environmental Protection Agency has not viewed this abundant form of renewable energy on a level playing field with other renewable options, in part because it is expensive and had production challenges. That is no longer the case.
In Missouri, farmers have joined forces with coal experts and engineers to develop an upgraded version of biomass that protects the environment while keeping costs low. We call it BioCoal Fuel™, and favorable trials of the product are being conducted in some of the country’s largest electric utilities.
When co-fired, BioCoal Fuel™ helps coal last longer and provide greater efficiencies than ever before. It is made using patented rotary compression technology, which transforms abundant, annually renewable agricultural waste residue into a renewable fuel that, when blended with traditional coal, can produce a cleaner, more sustainable source of electricity.
The fuel looks and feels like coal, but does not emit the same harmful greenhouse gas. In fact, if BioCoal Fuel™ were utilized in every U.S. coal-burning power plant at just a 10 percent co-fire rate, carbon emissions could be reduced by 150 million metric tons a year, or 11 percent of the industry’s current total emissions.
In Europe, similar products have been an integral part of producing clean energy and will continue to be used as those countries work to meet new emission targets agreed upon during the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
The Supreme Court’s decision cannot become an excuse for our country to be left behind by other European nations that are already using products such as BioCoal Fuel™ to meet their Paris accord commitments.
Before inevitable carbon regulations are set, the EPA should consider weighing this cost-effective, renewable fuel source just as heavily as its solar and wind counterparts.
If renewable energy products like BioCoal Fuel™ remain constrained by bias favoring of wind and solar, the EPA would deprive agricultural states from one of the most innovative, sustainable solutions in the country; one that will not only help reduce the impact of global warming, but will ease the transition of America’s energy portfolio to a 21st century platform.
Heimann is the CEO of Enginuity Worldwide, a Missouri-based company focused on biotechnology.