The United Nations has given a thumbs up to utilities and other large-scale energy generators to substitute a portion of coal with solid biomass fuels as a means of reducing carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Development Mechanism.
The decision means that biomass can be considered in renewable energy portfolios.
EcoSecurities sought and received permission from the UN to offer the biomass co-firing methodology, which involves using wood and other biomass residues to provide a portion of the heat used to create steam in boilers, according to a press release.
Under the CDM, biomass supplies must be developed and maintained in a sustainable and ecologically sound way.
“Biomass co-firing is a very important technology for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale in coal power stations,” said Paul Soffe, Associate Director at EcoSecurities.
Co-firing has been deployed extensively in Europe and is beginning to emerge in the U.S., he said, but the solid biomass supply markets remain underdeveloped, a fact which has served to restrict wide-spread use of co-firing.
For a list of approved methods of procuring biomass, see this UN document (PDF).