– by Avory Brookins, June 1, 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio
Photo: Oregon Department of Forestry
A Rhode Island bill that could have cleared the way for biomass power plants won’t move forward this legislative session.
Biomass is wood waste that is burned to generate electricity. It’s also considered a renewable resource.
The bill would have included biomass in the state’s “net-metering” program, which gives credits to customers for extra power generated by renewables, such as solar and wind, that flows back into the electrical grid. Those credits can lower ratepayers’ utility bills.
– by Avory Brookins, May 21, 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio
Photo: Rhode Island Public Radio
Environmentalists and green energy companies in Rhode Island are at odds over a bill that could advance the development of biomass power plants in the state.
Biomass is organic material, such as wood, that can be burned to produce energy. The Environmental Protection Agency also considers it a renewable resource.
However, biomass is not included in the state’s “net-metering” program, which applies to other renewable technologies, such as solar and wind.
– by Tim Faulkner, February 14, 2016, EcoRI News
Rhode Island has a wood problem. Although the state has no wood-burning power plants, it relies heavily on wood power for electricity, specifically for the renewable energy that flows through local electric sockets. The problem is that wood power is considered harmful to the environment, especially for its high levels of carbon dioxide emissions.
One of the state’s key alternative energy incentive programs, the Renewable Energy Standard (RES), is largely responsible for Rhode Island’s use of wood power. The RES was designed to stimulate renewable-energy construction in Rhode Island and around New England by requiring that a portion of the electricity delivered by utilities originate from sources such as wind and solar. RES rules also allow for hydropower, landfill gas, food digesters and electricity from wood-burning power plants.