Vermont exploring green energy sources

Renewable energy may contribute in deep decarbonization and reaching climate targets

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By Rubina Obaid

www.asianbiomass.com

Using wood for the purpose of heating is far more efficient than using it to generate electricity and a modern boiler which is also affordable and safe. The benefit of using wood as biomass is that it constructively contributes to the economy of the state as well, just like fossil-based fuels.

Countries are striving hard to move towards more environment friendly sources of energy in order to reach climate neutrality goals. Vermont is no exception and trying hard to foster  green energy sources and preparing for major push, while some renewable energy advocates support the crucial role of forests that help in developing an environment which is carbon free. However, Various clean energy supporters stressed upon electrifying buildings which will help the state in reaching less polluting environment through large renewable electric grids. The environmentalists argue that wood heat is different from more commonly use of wood biomass which is wood pellets for fuel electric generation. Using wood for the purpose of heating is far more efficient than using it to generate electricity and modern boiler which is also affordable and  safe.

Executive director of the Energy Action Network of Vermont said “When you go to the wood heating conversation, I always start with the understanding that there’s no perfect energy choice, so we need to compare every choice with each other” This energy network group is an alliance of members from business, advocacy, utilities and other diversified arrays to support the development of country’s renewable goals. As Vermont is trying to switch 90% of its energy from sustainable renewable sources by 2050. According to the latest report that has been shared in March that revealed the grave need of taking immediate measures for thermal and transport sectors which are not aligned with the pace of reduced emission.

The report further added that burning wood for electricity is 20% to 25% efficient while it is 75% to 80% efficient when it is used for heating purposes and the research has been cited from the Biomass Energy Resource Center. Another study  showed that using wood pellets in the Northeast which are harvested and produced, immediately cut greenhouse gas emission by more than half, compared to the fossil fuels. According to the climate neutrality goals of Vermont, 35% of the heating needs of the state will be fulfilled through wood by 2030. Households will be having two heating system alternatives either boilers or stoves, boilers are good for providing central heating system and stove works as a space heater.

A retrofitted electric cold climate heat pumps are perfect to be used in buildings with mostly renewable energy grids to make it an emission-free energy source. Whereas, many of the buildings are larger and older they will need some combustion source of heating as a backup. The benefit of using wood as biomass is that it constructively contributes to the economy of the state as well, just like fossil based fuels. On contrary Sami Yassa, a senior scientist at Natural Resource Defense Council conflicts with the concept of wood as an absolute source of green energy as it also emits significant amount of carbon emission that pollutes the environment and considers building electrification with heat pump as one of the cleanest and cheapest way to go. Hence a whole lot of variants of renewable are needed to uptake the climate neutrality goals to another level of advancement.  

Reference link:

https://energynews.us/2020/04/24/us/wood-heat-pits-environmentalists-against-environmentalists-in-vermont/

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