WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) — The push for renewable energy has some power plants across the United States turning to wood to make electricity, industry sources say.
The switch is the result of state mandates encouraging renewable energy sources as well as legislation moving through Congress, USA Today reported Wednesday.
William Perritt, editor of Wood Biomass Market Report, says the number of wood-burning energy plants has increased from one in 2007 to a dozen in 2009.
Dozens more wood burning plants are on the drawing board, including three scheduled for 2012 that will provide enough power for 270,000 homes, industry sources say.
Pete Stewart of the forest industry analysis form Forest2Market says if wood power catches on entire trees will have to be cut down to fuel plants.
Currently many of the plants burn leftovers like bark, twigs and what is considered to be waste wood.
Environmentalists fear that the rise of wood for power could devastate U.S. forests.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International