Our perpetual energy debate finds corporate interests defending their government subsidies. Nuclear electricity, “clean coal”, and corn-based ethanol are failed technologies that we’d never consider if cost-benefit decision-making applied. The subsidies, fueled by millions of dollars in campaign contributions, are the only reason that these technologies haven’t died.
Biomass energy, especially woody biomass fuels, is our cleanest combustion solution to heating buildings and generating electricity through combined heat and power (CHP). Unfortunately, there is no powerful lobby to promote biomass heating or CHP. So most people do not know the benefits of woody biomass, and how it will help the nation’s energy future.
I’m annoyed when renewable energy trumps energy conservation in the media, and nowhere is this tendency more prevalent than with liquid bio-fuels. Biomass Energy Efficiency To make a gallon of ethanol, start with 23 pounds of corn with a potential energy of about 185,000 BTUs. Add 40,000 to 80,000 BTUs of fossil energy per gallon …