[GRRN] Biomass energy

Roger M. Guttentag (rgutten@concentric.net)
Sun, 21 Nov 1999 20:11:40 -0500

Dear Listmembers:

On 11/15/99 Blair Pollock asked why biomass power should not be considered
an acceptable renewable energy source. On 11/16/99 David Orr sent a reply,
which if I understand correctly, stated that energy production based on the
combustion of waste biomass of any kind (MSW, primary forest residuals,
urban waste wood, crop residuals, etc.) is environmentally unacceptable.
Further, growing "energy crops" such as fast growing trees as a fuel source
also should not be endorsed because it will not be done on a sustainable
basis. I know that the most prevalent form of "renewable" energy is hydro
which can have its own significant environmental impacts depending on which
areas you dam and flood. Obviously coal, oil and nuclear have well known
environmental drawbacks. So what's left? Just solar and wind? What do we
do for storable and transportable energy sources? Is chemical and
biological conversion of waste biomass into industrial biochemicals and
biofuels also unacceptable? I would appreciate some clarification on these


Roger M. Guttentag