ViaSpace, Inc., holder of the rights to Giant King Grass, a unique hybrid grass unmatched in its ability to capture sunlight for biomass energy production, believes biomass holds the economic key for a smooth transition to clean power.
As global energy demands continue to balloon, and as finite fuel resources become harder to locate and tap, the cost of fossil fuels has increased to the point that various green energy sources are now being seriously considered as potential competitors. In today’s ongoing recessionary environment, however, the cost factor remains a major killer for most alternatives. Take a look at the figures below showing the costs (in USD per kilowatt-hours-electric) for various energy sources, keeping in mind that coal accounts for nearly 1/2 of all electricity generated in the U.S, and for nearly 1/3 of world energy use.
• Solar Photovoltaic (.30 – .40)
• Solar Thermal (.20 – .26)
• Wind (.10 – .15)
• Biomass (.09)
• Coal (.08)
The cost advantages of biomass as a viable energy alternative are clear. Although the fuel supply costs for solar and wind power are not an issue, the capital costs are significant, as opposed to the relatively low costs required for the existing technologies used in biomass power production. And biomass offers efficient and dependable electricity generation 24 hours a day, in any weather conditions, further reducing per unit energy costs.
Biomass is considered to be any energy source arising from renewable plant material, such as wood, corn, sugar, and grasses. It can be burned to generate electricity and heat, but it can also be used to generate methane, liquid biofuels, biochemicals, and even plastics. This is important, because many of the man-made materials we depend upon today are currently produced from fossil resources. It’s this versatility, together with its low cost and off-the-shelf technology, that that has fed the growing appeal of biomass as a green solution that really works.
Of course, at the heart of the biomass story, as with any eco-friendly energy source, is the fact that it is essentially carbon neutral, putting the brakes on greenhouse gas emissions. The plant material that is burned to generate electricity absorbs as much carbon during the growth process as is released during the burning process. ViaSpace has a special advantage here, since Giant King Grass can be easily processed into pellets for use in existing power plants. The company is already negotiating contracts to allow existing utilities to reduce their carbon footprint.
For additional information, visit the company’s website at ViaSpace.com, or the company’s Giant King Grass products site at ViaSpaceGreenEnergy.com
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