EPA proposes Clean Power Plan
In June, the EPA released a proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The Clean Power Plan aims to reduce emissions by 30 percent when compared to 2005 emissions levels. With regard to biomass, the proposal specifically recognizes “that biomass-derived fuels can play an important role in CO2 emission reduction strategies.”
The proposal would implement the plan through a state-federal partnership that includes specific goals for each state. According to the EPA, the proposal is designed to provide each state with flexibility in meeting its specific goal. The agency has also stressed that the state goals are not requirements on individual electrical generating units. Rather, each state has broad flexibility to meet the rate by 2030 by lowering the overall carbon intensity of the power sector in the state.
States will be required to develop compliance plans. These plans can include, but are not limited to, demand-side energy efficiency programs, renewable energy standards, efficiency improvements at plants, co-firing or switching to natural gas, transmission efficiency improvements, energy storage technology, retirements, expanding renewables or nuclear, market-based trading programs and energy conservation programs.