A Low-Emission Solution

Biomass is plant or animal material, and biomass gasification is a way to draw renewable energy from it. Biomass gasification produces negligible amounts of greenhouse gases and polluting emissions. It generates bioenergy – stored solar energy that can be converted to fuel or electricity.

There are many types of biomass, including:

Wood waste (i.e. sawdust, tree prunings)

• Paper trash

• Yard clippings

• Agricultural residues (i.e. corn stover, rice straw, wheat straw)

• Used vegetable oils

• Fast-growing trees and grasses such as hybrid poplars and switchgrass

• Animal waste

Increased use of biomass for energy would lead to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced dependence on foreign oil, an improved rural economy, and a new American industry. European countries have long relied on biomass conversion for a significant fraction of their electricity needs. In the United States, biomass gasification is in the early stages of commercialization. The challenges involve how to efficiently gather the biomass materials and how to distribute and use the fuels produced.

Ratepayers Back Biomass
Connecticut is well-positioned to take advantage of biomass energy generation with its rich supply of agricultural and animal husbandry waste resources as well as lumber and wood wastes. Several ratepayer-supported development projects are currently under way as part of Project 150.