Biomass Thermal Energy Council affirms support for including a renewable thermal energy study in proposed Clean Energy Standard bill, applauds bill's sponsor Sen. Bingaman for recognition of thermal energy from biomass

WASHINGTON, D.C. , March 1, 2012 (press release) – Clean energy proposal would require a study examining the potential of thermal energy from renewable sources like biomass
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) today issued its support of the Clean Energy Standard (CES) proposal introduced by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NV) and its inclusion of a renewable thermal energy study.

“We applaud Senator Bingaman for demonstrating his commitment to renewable energy, notably his recognition of thermal energy from biomass,” said Joseph Seymour, BTEC Executive Director. “The thermal study provision in the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 will help demonstrate the essential role thermal energy can play in meeting our nation’s clean energy, energy independence, and job creation goals.” According to the Energy Information Administration, thermal applications such as industrial process heat and residential/commercial space heating account for approximately one-third of U.S. energy consumption.

If enacted, the Clean Energy Standard Act of 2012 would create a national mandate requiring retail electric utilities to provide a specified percentage of their electricity from clean, low-carbon energy sources. The proposal outlines a schedule in which 24% of electricity sales must be generated from qualifying clean energy sources in 2015, and ultimately reaching 84% in 2035.

While the main focus of the legislation is electrical generation, the proposal includes a provision to study how thermal energy may be incorporated into a national CES. The provision calls for a Department of Energy report conducted no later than 3 years after the date of enactment of the bill to examine, “mechanisms to supplement the standard under this section by addressing clean energy resources that do not generate electric energy but that may substantially reduce electric energy loads, including…biomass converted to thermal energy,…thermal energy delivered through district heating systems (emphasis added), and waste heat used as industrial process heat.”

In April 2011, BTEC submitted comments on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s CES white paper, highlighting the ways in which addressing biomass thermal in a CES would help meet this demand and create a more meaningful and effective domestic energy strategy.

“BTEC has worked tirelessly in support of policies that recognize and promote the use of renewable thermal energy from sources like biomass. We look forward to working with Senator Bingaman’s office on the thermal study and other components of this legislation,” said Seymour.

About the Biomass Thermal Energy Council

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) is an association of biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America's energy needs. BTEC engages in research, education, and public advocacy for the fast growing biomass thermal energy industry. For more information, visit www.biomassthermal.org

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