A coalition of organizations is calling for 25% of the thermal load in the northeastern US to come from renewables by 2025, with 18.5% from biomass. The coalition published the results of study that shows the availability of biomass stock and the technology to meet this aggressive target.
The 40-page study, “Heating the Northeast with Renewable Biomass: A vision for 2025” also provides an economic impact analysis and shows locally produced biomass will create as many as 140,216 permanent jobs and save 1.14 billion gallons of oil annually.
Besides the economic benefits, the environmental gains of achieving this vision are considerable. The viability of forest and farm ownership will be improved and emissions of sulfur and mercury will be significantly lowered. This can improve the quality of the air we breathe, and reduce acid rain and the Green House effect. Additionally, this goal would encourage entrepreneurs to invest in even cleaner technologies and will accelerate the pace of innovation in wood burning and other renewable technologies.
The document sets objectives in terms of efficiency, affordability, sustainability, security, low emissions and climate change mitigation. These objectives are then connected with policy recommendations. The key action points encompass the incorporation of thermal biomass in energy policy in the six NE states and NY.
In the short term, working groups will be established and individuals and organizations will be meeting with their federal and state legislators.
The study was released at the Heating the North East conference on April 28 in Manchester, NH. The five organizations in the coalition are the Alliance for Green Heat, The Biomass Thermal Energy Council, Maine Pellet Fuel Association, New York Biomass Energy Alliance and the Pellet Fuel Institute.
The full document of the vision is available here and if you have any suggestions of other ideas, please contact the Alliance for Green Heat or the Biomass Thermal Energy Council.