Obama signs executive order, biomass may benefit

By Staff | October 08, 2012

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order to facilitate investment in energy efficiency at industrial facilities. The order focuses on expanding the use of combined-heat-and-power (CHP) and could provide benefit to the biomass industry.

The order directs several federal agencies to coordinate to achieve a nation-wide goal to establish 40 gigawatts of industrial CHP by the end of 2020.The specified agencies will coordinate policies to encourage investment in industrial efficiency in order to reduce costs for industrial users, improve U.S. competitiveness, create jobs and reduce air pollution.

One of the first initiatives will be to convene stakeholders though a series of public workshops in order to develop, and encourage the use of, best practice state models and investment models, which will address the multiple barriers to investment in industrial energy efficiency and CHP.

The executive order coincided with the release of a U.S. DOE report, titled “Combined Heat and Power, a Clean Energy Solution.” As of last year, approximately 500 biomass-fueled CHP systems were in operation in the U.S.