"Here’s the strange part, they are converting an oil burning locomotive to run “biocoal”, and somehow they magically think the production process and the burning of it won’t produce any net CO2, saying the process is “carbon neutral”. I think they’ve left out some parts, like the energy needed to produce and transport the biocoal fuel in the first place. Excerpts from the MSNBC story:
A steam train built in 1937 is getting a makeover that will turn it into a “higher-speed” locomotive that runs on biocoal, a coal-like fuel made with woody plant material.
When finished, the train will be able chug along existing tracks at speeds up to 130 miles per hour without contributing to the greenhouse gas pollution blamed for global warming."
State regulators today resolved one of the more nettlesome conundrums of green energy: Do forests and tree farms count as a renewable energy resource?
The N.C. Utilities Commission said that they do, clearing the way for power companies to harvest entire trees for wood chips to be used as a fuel in power plants. Wood and other biomass are expected to supply much of the alternative fuel that in the coming decades will offset the state's heavy reliance on coal and nuclear power to generate electricity.
Duke Energy, the state's biggest power company, is already blending wood chips with coal to meet its green energy mandates under the state's 2007 energy law, which requires power companies to shift to alternative energy sources.
"This decision by the commission further reinforces that biomass, including woody biomass derived from whole trees, is a viable renewable resource for North Carolina," said Duke spokesman Jason Walls.
" The Tennessee Valley Authority—a government-owned power utility—has been conducting biomass/coal cofiring tests for the past several decades, and also has an interest in torrefied pellets. Unfortunately, it has run into the same problem as UNC. “There doesn’t seem to be enough material, or supply,” says Daryl Williams, head of renewable energy at TVA. “We needed a couple thousand tons for test burns at our plant in north Alabama, and we had a few vendors promising that, but when it came down to it they couldn’t provide it.”
EPA killing the coal industry deliberately