It’s surprising that there’s no bio-mass conversion facility in Denver metro. Woody plants and chips from trees are a growing renewable resource that can fire power plants.

A conversion facility for chips and other wood seems like a good idea for Denver for three reasons.

  1. The building and operation of conversion plants create good, permanent jobs
  2. Landfill space is reduced
  3. Because of the prevalence of pine forests, which is a less desirable building material, bio-fuel production seems a natural for Denver

The federal government is investing heavily in it. Here is the mission statement from the Biomass Crop Assistance Program sponsored by the USDA.

“Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) provides financial assistance to producers or entities that deliver eligible biomass material to designated biomass conversion facilities for use as heat, power, biobased products or biofuels.”

Putting aside that “biomass was considered a renewable source…after considerable lobbying by the forest products industry,” it seems to be a solid bridge to algae which may be the bio resource we all use in 50 years.

Or sooner.

Any facility in Denver would have less of an ecological impact than natural gas powered plants. Wood chips are something we have right now and the biomass energy industry actively needs.

That’s according to the biomass cover story in the April issue of ArborAge.  However transportation costs make this a local affair.

Let’s start working on this for Denver. The west slope of Colorado has two BCAP approved facilities and several private ventures. Denver should as well.

Here is a list of qualified biofuels conversion facilities for the US. If you hear news on this topic please comment. We’re just tree trimmers after all.