Glowing boiler in a biomass-fueled power plant. A video from the Biomass Power Association is shown below.
Glowing boiler in a biomass-fueled power plant. A video from the Biomass Power Association is shown below.

BOSTON - Wood-fueled powers plants that give off excessive soot, carbon dioxide and other pollutants will be blocked from green energy subsidies and programs, under new rules issued by the Massachusetts Department of Energy.

Surrounding states are also expected to be impacted by the rules, which will treat wood fired power plants much the same as coal-fired plants - no longer considering them green if they give off pollution similar to fossil-fuel powered electric generators.

Established through a long review process, the Massachusetts rules bar woody biomass power plants from eligiblity for grants and subsidies, and preferred treatment, unless they produce less greenhouse gases then their coal- and oil-fired counterparts.

The Biomass Power Association, an industry advocacy group, urged Massachusetts to reconsider the developing rule. 

"Science shows that biomass, when done right, reduces greenhouse gases when compared to the use of fossil fuels," said Bob Cleaves, CEO of the Biomass Power Association. "The Massachusetts ruling will hurt our industry and it will promote the use of fossil fuels." (A PDF opens to their statement.)   

The group said the rules "effectively disqualifies the industry from being able to participate in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. This will endanger current biomass facilities, and all but prevent the construction of new facilities."

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