Clean Energy at the Forefront
Clean Energy at the Forefront. I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.
Last year’s Harvesting Clean Energy Conference in Kennewick, Washington was a veritable who’s who of the renewable energy business and while talking to some of these people it is clear that this is a new, emerging industry. Patrick Mazza is the Research Director for Climate Solutions and he has seen a lot of changes in just a few short years.
MAZZA: 10 years ago we were only starting to see the first major wind development in the northwest. Now you can barely drive around Eastern Washington or east of the mountains without seeing a wind farm somewhere. Now we have seen the biofuels industry grow from a fairly small to a major industry. It’s having its rough spots but it’s on a growth curve.
Mazza says many things have now gone from the idea phase to on the ground, up and running technology like the biodigester technology.
MAZZA: When you look across the board you see the development of these energy technologies and you’re also seeing a lot of really good thought about bio-economy. We’re looking at how you squeeze everything out of the biomass and where the value streams are so the whole opportunity in bioproducts as well as bioenergy and how those opportunities get put together, that’s the frontier.
The value stream is very critical when it comes to energy products and many, many opportunities exist.
MAZZA: Actually when you look in terms of value streams energy and fuels tend to be at the lower end of the value streams but when you start to talk about stuff like nutraceuticals and high value oils, you’re getting into larger markets so these things can all grow together.
Creating and utilizing clean energy technologies is a world wide effort but Mazza says he is very pleased and proud of what is happening right at home.
MAZZA: I see some especially good work going on in Washington State. The agencies really thinking about this together – agriculture and commerce, ecology and working with Washington State University. You know in fact Washington has gone farther in understanding its biomass potentials than just about any other state in the country.
For additional information on clean energy and the upcoming 2011 conference in Boise visit harvestcleanenergy.org. That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.