Friday, March 19, 2010
Biomass supporters knock opponents as projects face hurdles
An artist's rendering of the planned Adage LLC plant in Hamilton County, which received a state air permit in January.
As biomass energy supporters complain of opposition to some biomass projects around the state, a company that was proposing to build two in north Florida withdrew its permit application for one in Gadsden County.
Biomass power, which converts wood, crops or waste to energy, is expected to be a key component in Florida's renewable energy future. Although it has support from Gov. Charlie Crist and some environmental groups, biomass is experiencing some growing pains. Some proposed plants face opposition from communities and questions have been raised about the availability of wood supply.
Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson said last week the state should push to produce enough biomass from crops and forests. And he took a swipe at some opponents.
"There are people who were all behind us on this alternative fuel thing until they realized how serious we were going to get in looking at every opportunity," Bronson told legislators. "Now they are more afraid of taking a down a tree that we can replant at any one time and grow it right back again than they are in finding new ways to create fuel and energy sources. That's being pretty short-minded in my opinion."
In response, Gadsden County biomass opponent James E. Maloy Jr. said, "The citizens of the State of Florida are not interested in mechanizing and industrializing our forests and natural ecosystems in order to create energy and huge profits for corporations at the expense of the taxpayers who are already burdened with an unmanageable federal debt. Similarly the idea of achieving the State's 75-percent recycling goal, which allows for the incineration of garbage and other hazardous fuels as a method of reaching that goal, best describes the notion of being 'short-minded.' "
Read more in the Florida Tribune:
March 8, 2010
State report suggests limits on potential of forests to supply biomass energy.
(Story copyrighted by Bruce Ritchie and FloridaEnvironments.com. Do not copy or redistribute without permission.)