Wash. state energy roadmap could increase need for biopower

By Luke Geiver | April 06, 2012

A Bellevue, Wash.-based clean energy consulting firm has issued a 2012 Washington State Clean Energy Roadmap that provides three scenarios to help the state meet its energy goals by 2035.

Those scenarios include installing combined-heat-and-power systems on all natural gas combustion, completely eliminating fuel oil heating from the industrial, commercial and residential sectors, and achieving full electrification of motor vehicles. If those scenarios are implemented, the need for electricity generated from renewable sources could increase by as much as 50 percent.

“Each of these scenarios is ambitious but achievable using existing technologies,” said Chuck Collins, CEO of Cascade Power Group, which compiled the report. “We need policy support from lawmakers in Olympia to help remove the project barriers for clean energy technologies.”

Although existing policies require 15 percent of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020, the report notes, the increase in electricity demand because of electric vehicles will warrant additional policy support. While the report does indicate that for each scenario more biomass electricity would be needed, the overall theme of the report pointed to waste heat recovery as the main vehicle to help meet the state’s energy goals of reducing both fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. 

To view the full roadmap, click here.