Clean Energy: The Power of Wood
The wind and the sun are among the most familiar forms of renewable energy. Bioenergy is another form of renewable, clean energy.
Bioenergy is produced by burning waste organic material (biomass) and converting the heat to electricity. Biomass resources include trees, food crops, algae, agricultural and forestry byproducts. These biomass resources provide fuels to create clean energy power production.
Today’s forest industry uses the entire tree. Wood waste from forestry operations is collected and sent biomass power plants to be converted into clean energy. Forest products companies have powered their mills with energy from wood waste for decades. Excess power can be delivered to the electric power grid.
The 24 biomass power plants in California, which are all located in small towns, use about 5 million tons of wood waste every year. Together, they generate 560 megawatts, or enough capacity to produce electricity for 560,000 homes year round.