Ontario Coal Plant to Switch to Biomass

21 Jan

From CBC News:

Ontario Power Generation is going to try to replace coal with biomass at a power-generating plant.

On Tuesday, OPG announced plans to convert the power plant in Atikokan, west of Thunder Bay, to burn wood pellets instead of coal by 2012.

It will then look at converting the three other coal-fired plants, including the giant Nanticoke plant on Lake Erie, to burn wood pellets, wheat husks or other plant material.

Ontario Energy Minister George Smitherman said the initiative could prevent the need to close the coal plants as promised by 2014.

This sounds pretty promising, but how long will it be sustainable for? We have enough coal to last us for at least 200 years, and with clean coal technology ready to be implemented, what’s even the point of going the biomass way?

I’m all for making the planet as emission-free as possible, but we need to do it in the most economic way possible. If anything, this is a short term solution for a long term problem. We need to figure out how to develop sustainable energy technologies that are, cost effective, environmentally friendly, and accessible to the masses. How about geothermal?

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