[Greenbuilding] "Waste incinerator plans withdrawn" by Ellen Yan (Newsday 12/9/11) RE: Another Green Myth: Garbage Incinerators Are Green Sources of Energy

Carmine Vasile gfx-ch at msn.com
Sat Dec 10 14:41:03 PST 2011

Erin: The subject article
reports: “Covanta Energy, which operates four
"[radioactive-]waste-to-energy" incinerators on Long Island, Thursday
withdrew its petition asking state regulators to qualify such plants for
renewable energy subsidies.” (See Garbage Plant Stirs Fears of Radiation - New York Times www.nytimes.com/.../garbage-plant-stirs-fears-of-radiation.html?...) &      “The New Jersey-based company
notified the state Public Service Commission on
the same day that the Alliance for Clean Energy New York filed another protest, saying the
state's goal to boost clean energy "cannot be decimated by the diversion
of funds to polluting resources such as incineration." &

        "We're hopeful that this is the last attempt
we'll see by a company trying to masquerade garbage incineration as clean
energy," said Michael Seilback, vice president of public policy and
communications at the American Lung Association in New York. "Clean energy
funding must be reserved to promote energy projects that are truly clean and
that will enhance the environment and help improve the air we breathe."The
subsidy was created in 2004 to promote low-emission sources of clean energy,
such as wind and solar power. Consumers pay for the fund through a surcharge on
monthly utility bills. Long Island Power Authority customers
pay a separate fee to fund local initiatives.      NOTE: The Long Island Power Authority buys and distributes electricity from Covanta! 


Happy Holidays



From: erin at trmiles.comTo: greenbuilding at lists.bioenergylists.org; 9watts at gmail.com; info at ecobrooklyn.comDate: Thu, 1 Dec 2011 12:23:43 -0800Subject: Re: [Greenbuilding] Another Green Myth: Garbage	Incinerators	Are	Green Sources of EnergyOkay, to address the unfeasible question I'll go backward before I go forward.  I am not by any means an expert in this area, but this is the back story that I was thinking of as I wrote that message. In burning clean waste for energy, you are essentially create a company that has to operate at enough of a profit to be able to keep paying their employees and keep up with maintenance to the facility and the machinery needed to perform that task (and cover your other overhead).  On top of that, these energy plants can be  expensive, and the investors typically want to be paid back some amount of profit for their initial investment. Fuels derived from clean, unrecyclable sources are often oddly shaped and require specialized material handling to put them into a form that can be efficiently burned in a power plant, and the cost of that handling can make the fuel expensive. These plants also typically operate in a market where they compete with some relatively inexpensive forms of power. So, the plant may not be able to sell enough power at a high enough profit to pay for the expensive fuel, the maintenance of the facility and the pay of the employees. (I'm ignoring the investors for now).  Those are some factors that  can make the plant unfeasible.   In some areas, there are incentives for disposing of waste (tipping fees etc) that can make up the difference in price and allow the power plant to operate at enough of a profit to ensure continued operation.  (I don't get the sense that companies are making a lot of money in this area the profit off of wind turbines is a lot higher and that seems to be driving some of the growth in that area). In addition to the obvious necessity of keeping the doors open on your facility, there's the "will of the people" in your area.  In some areas, the local community is supportive of the plant, and there tends to be a positive experience, but in many areas of the country the community is less supportive and/or actively working against your facility (or proposed facility) and in those areas the experience of the people who own and run the plant can be quite different. Cheers,Erinerin at trmiles.com 		 	   		  
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