California Biomass Energy Alliance Commends Governor Brown for Assisting the Biomass Industry by Signing Senate Bill 859
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
SACRAMENTO – Executive Director of the California Biomass Energy Alliance (CBEA), Julee Malinowski-Ball, issued the following statement after Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 859.
“We commend Governor Jerry Brown for signing Senate Bill 859. The Governor understands the importance of the biomass industry as it pertains to the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard and the eradication of dead and dying trees from high hazard fire zones.
“This law will provide some certainty to the biomass industry which has struggled due to antiquated contracts. Under SB 859, investor-owned utilities and large public-owned utilities must enter into five-year contracts for a portion of at least 125 megawatts of power from biomass facilities that generate electricity through the use of forest materials removed from specific high fire hazard zones.
“Most importantly, this law protects hundreds of jobs, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes long-term forest management goals.
“CBEA praises the Governor and the Legislature for their ongoing support of the biomass industry.”
California needs to continue its support for the biomass industry in 2016 by:
- There are many recommendations in the 2012 Bioenergy Action Plan that can be implemented in 2013. In particular, the following two recommendations would be of enormous benefit to the industry:
- (2.1) The Public Utilities Commission, in cooperation with the California Energy Commission, should conduct the research necessary to then allow contracting utilities starting in 2013 to fully value both the electrical (reliable, schedulable, and voltage support to the grid) and environmental (reduction of open burning, landfill diversion and forest health) benefits of biomass energy.
- (4.6) The Air Resources Board should develop biomass-fuels offset protocols. Currently, the ARB has a greenhouse gas offset protocol for reducing the emissions from livestock waste, but not for other greenhouse gas reductions associated with bioenergy. Adoption of additional offset protocols under AB 32 could help to monetize the greenhouse gas emissions benefits associated with bioenergy.
- Appropriate AB 32 Cap and Trade Auction Revenue for a targeted biomass-fuels-utilization program.
The Department of Finance’s (DOF) investment plan on use of Cap and Trade Auction Proceeds should include funding to run a program to promote the use of targeted kinds of biomass resources (agricultural and in-forest residues) that are both expensive to produce, and provide particularly valuable public benefits when used for energy production, rather than being disposed of using conventional means (usually open burning), or allowed to accumulate as overgrowth material in California’s increasingly fire-prone forests (in-forest residues not removed in forest-treatment operations not performed). These funds for increased use of agricultural and forest byproducts and residues as fuel will generate power from both current biomass generators in the State, and provide for the development of new ones.