EPRI launches new research on biomass electricity generation

Palo Alto, CA, July 14, 2006 — The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has launched a new research project to explore the potential role of biomass as a renewable fuel for electricity generation that also can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Biomass, mostly residues and by-products of forest and wood products industries, is the largest non-hydro renewable energy source and is expected to make up a much more significant portion of electricity supply in the future, said EPRI in a recent press release.

The new project will assess the potential of biomass as a generation fuel for electricity and identify key research needs, with attention to economic assessment, biomass crop and carbon accounting, biomass combustion and gasification technology.

The EPRI project represents the latest biomass research which was initially launched by the Institute in the mid-1970s.

Dedicated biomass-fueled electric power plants and burning biomass fuel in coal-fired power plants (a process known as co-firing) may help electric companies cost-effectively reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while generating electricity, said EPRI.

Recent analyses indicate that biomass has even greater long-term potential for CO2 reduction when growth of biomass fuel crops and carbon capture and storage are combined with biomass generation, thereby supplying electricity with very low GHG emissions, said the press release.

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