By: Rubina Obaid
Georgia is swiftly moving towards expanding its biomass energy capacity by converting trees and other organic material despite facing objections from the environmentalists. The public Service Commission agreed to allow the largest state’s electricity utility to accept bids from companies for a new 50-megawatt biomass plant.
Evolving sources of energy from renewables is also becoming one of the major factors, which are contributing to stabilizing energy prices. Nowadays nations are in the midst of the historic time when they are focusing more on bringing a whole shift from coal-based energy sources to sustainable renewable sources. This will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also bring favorable changes in energy prices for the consumers. Countries are actively participating in achieving climate neutrality goals to align their targets with the UN Paris agreement. Georgia is also moving ahead with the pledge by introducing energy subsidy reforms while integrating low carbon policies and infrastructure planning process. At the same time, private enterprises are also joining hands with Georgia’s energy sector to promote the government’s green growth agenda. As they are committed to reduce 25% of the carbon emission by 2030.
Georgia is swiftly moving towards expanding its biomass energy capacity by converting trees and other organic material despite facing objections from the environmentalists. The public Service Commission agreed to allow the largest state’s electricity utility to accept bids from companies for a new 50-megawatt biomass plant. Georgia power plants are also striving to obtain more energy through other renewable sources such as steam turbine plants, battery energy storage systems, and solar power plants. The amount of energy will greatly depend upon the number of power plants commissioner decides Georgia power would shut down in the following years. The commission’s electric unit director, Rob Trokey said that the utility has been gradually retiring its coal-fired power plants.
In order to improve the utility of coal-based power plants, Georgia is weighing other alternatives for the sake of adding thousands of megawatt of energy to fulfill the state’s energy needs. However, for biomass plants, it would take a couple of years from now to generate its first megawatt. Rob Trokey further added that “This process has occurred in other states, looking at all sources as alternatives to existing resources. It’s been determined that customers can save potentially hundreds of millions of dollars by retiring some of these power plants.” The public service commissioner, Republican Jason Shaw added that it would create jobs and help the forestry industry, which has been ravaged by storms like Hurricane Michael. However, the Commission and Georgia Power plant still have to give final approval before the biomass plant is built. Shaw said at Tuesday’s PSC meeting “The sooner we get these resources online then that is investment taking place in our state and our rural communities.” The proposal will influence the decision about plant retirement and Georgia power portfolio not for the now till the year 2028 but it reflects till the next 30 years. Adaption of renewable energy would better cater to the need and attract more investors to send a strong signal to the priority projection. This would also significantly increase public and private investments in the energy sector and bring growth for the overall economy.