The ongoing revolution in renewable energy has led to a wide range of proposed solutions, with wind and solar being the most prominent. Led by industry giants like Denmark’s Vestas and China’s Sinovel, companies are planting wind turbines taller than a 30-story building on land and in coastal waters, laying new lines to carry the generated electricity to the population centers where the power is needed. In the case of solar, sites thousands of acres in size are being covered with PV panels or mirrors, transforming the sun’s rays into hundreds of megawatts, with plans for much larger sites already underway.
And yet, in spite of enormous outlays of cash, massive installations, and impressive technological developments, wind and solar still have significant limitations, the most intractable of which is the uncontrollable and variable nature of their respective energy sources. The sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. Unfortunately, the growing need for energy requires exactly the kind of controllability and dependability that wind and solar have so much trouble providing.
It’s called baseload power, the minimum amount of power that a system must generate to support its customers at any given time. Fossil fuel plants can easily be designed and operated to ensure that all the necessary power its customers require will be available whenever it is needed, something that wind and solar plants cannot economically do since nature controls the source, not people. As a result, even large-scale wind and solar installations are seen as primarily backups to the grid, with other fuel sources needed to ensure that the baseload power requirements can be met. It’s a thorn in the side of wind/solar proponents, but it won’t go away.
VIASPACE, a California-based renewable energy company, has the answer, and it doesn’t have anything to do with wind or solar, although it can work perfectly in tandem with either. The company offers a truly unique biomass solution to reliable renewable energy, with a negligible carbon footprint. Giant King Grass, proprietary to VIASPACE, is the highest yielding biomass crop in the world, able to grow so fast that it rivals fossil fuels in cost effectiveness.
The biomass crop can be harvested many times a year, providing a steady flow of fuel to conventional style combustion power plants, day or night, windy or not. And, since it absorbs as much carbon during growing as it releases during burning, the carbon footprint is almost zero. It can be grown near dedicated power plants, in what are called power plantations, but can also be pelletized for shipment to outside plants. It requires no special infrastructure and does not interfere with food agricultural lands.
For additional information, visit www.viaspace.com
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