The Intricate and Necessary Role of Government Policies and Incentives in Promoting Responsible Biomass Energy Production

In recent years, we have seen a rise in the use of biomass and waste products in power production over the traditional coal- and oil-powered plants we relied on. Proponents of biomass quickly cite the environmental benefits and the reduced dependence on fossil fuels. While this may all sound good for a headline, it’s easy to forget that the production of biomass energy still requires significant private investment and government policies for it to become an effective and sustainable means of power production. 

Plus, it requires a lot of biomass – more on that in another article. 

Motus Group tries to remain neutral in how power is produced – there are a lot of great options, many more feasible than others. Our goal is to keep the lights on in communities all over the world so we can find our way to the next great power source. Regarding biomass, we’d love to see more government policies and incentives to promote and support biomass energy production. As we’ve seen in the past, whenever there is a new technology that needs to roll out at scale, industries are usually motivated by price promises and tax incentives – not necessarily a bad thing when you look at the long term.

When it comes to biomass, we’re already seeing encouraging incentives with tax credits, grants, and subsidies to companies that are investing in biomass energy sources. Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) and Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) are just some of the policies here in the States that encourage plants and facilities to use biomass energy. RPS incentivizes utilities to get some of their overall electricity from renewable sources – such as biomass. FITs offer a  guaranteed price minimum for electricity generated from biomass. Couple this with carbon pricing efforts, and a lot of companies are starting to see more green – both with their accounting and with their reduced environmental footprint.

Another policy worth mentioning: the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires a certain percentage of biomass fuel to blend with the fuels used for federal transportation. Meanwhile, The Biomass Crop Assistance Program offers federal assistance to farmers who grow crops specifically for biomass energy. But even with all of these resources on the table, there are still challenges.

Power production is a huge industry. Every company has its own policy; every region has slightly different regulations – implementing a widespread change of any sort is complicated. Couple this with the inter-departmental challenges most governments face every day… Does the EPA know what the Department of Energy is doing on most days? Are they coordinating well enough with the Department of Transit? Or even talking with Veterans Affairs or Labor about potential retraining and job production? The politics is messy – always has been, always will be. The policies put forth by elected officials can change if it feels the heat from the court of public opinion.

Whatever the future may hold for our energy production, Motus Group is on hand to answer one question: how can we get you to tomorrow? We do our part by ensuring the power producers of today are working as efficiently and effectively as possible. The power plants of today need to keep working while public and private interests determine what our grid will look like tomorrow. 

We want to know more about your challenges with biomass tech. Get in touch, we’d love to help find a solution that suits the demands of your facilities.

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