By Mary Beth Ginder
There’s a lot of buzz going around lately about “Green” energy. With the Obama Administration promising big bucks to the renewable energy sector, to reduce carbon dioxide (C02) emissions, wind and solar power are getting a lot of attention. However, they are not the only renewable options—and not necessarily the best.
Biopower, the process of using biomass (organic material made of plant and animal waste) to generate electricity, is another exciting “green” option. AREVA, already a world leader in CO2-free nuclear energy, has joined the renewables sector in the United States as ADAGE, through its joint venture with Duke Energy.
Biomass energy produced by ADAGE will have the advantage of being non-intermittent (will not depend on a windy or sunny day) and will provide more electricity generation per unit than other renewable sources. While wind and solar energy create the bulk of their jobs during construction, biomass also continues to employ people during operation. With ADAGE looking to build 10-12 plants over the next six years, thousands of jobs will be created in the production of green power.
For those of you unfamiliar with biopower don’t be alarmed at the thought of using trees and organic material for power. The wood waste material that ADAGE will use is a sustainable fuel source and is locally available. ADAGE will use that waste in one of their 50 megawatt plants, turning it into electricity for 40,000 households!
It makes sense to me that if the U.S. wants an energy source that is renewable, reliable, creates long-term jobs, and helps reduce CO2 emissions, then biomass is the way to go.