Between the mid-1980’s thru 2015 there were over ONE HUNDRED Big (Macro) BIO-MASS ELECTRICAL POWER PLANTS invested in; and declared failures.
The average investment failure/loss was $10,000,000 each USD.
I researched this out between 2007 until 2015.
Some of there earlier ones up into the early 1990’s can be read in the DOW library copy of the World Bank Technical Paper #72. They have a nice excellent ending summery of the identified causes for these bio-mass power plant failures. I will not repeat here. Do your own reading of this important publication.
Three bio-mass plant failures that especially interested me were not covered in the #72 as they were later 2000’s failures.
The Connecticut Biomass Energy Project. $163 million of public and private investment from initial enthusiasm written-down, sold, and now resold three times. Each time for less.
The Hawaii Biomass Energy Project
$17.5 million USD of initial enthusiasm sold off at bid for pennies on the dollar for the hardware’s and Labs equipment.
The Alaska Bio-Mass Energy Plant
$15 million of initial enthusiasm investment written down and plant converted to “cheaper natural gas”.
100 plant/project failures at an average of $10,000,000 each is ONE BILLION DOLLARS USD.
For a billon spent out I think something power-making should have been accomplished. For one billion dollars I want to see the bridge. The tunnel. A usable building. Saturn’s moons fly-by pictures.
Now in this same time period WBT #72 list three bio-mas power making operations gotten up running, being used. One a religious middle/high school in Micronesia. Two at religious based communal sawmill operation in Uruguay.
And I could fine easily over 10 successful wood products mills making their own power, from their own mill woodwastes. Ha! I worked for time in the late 80’s at one. 20 horsepower old steam engine plant to make electricity motors and lights. And especially; steam heat for the log-pealer, and finished plywood kiln dryers.
What was the differences?
The successful were making; don’t ask - don’t tell power from their own input stocks, for themselves. Not for Grid-feed. Not for sale. So, NO ONE COULD BLOCK OR SIDE-TRACK DIVERT THEM.
That Conneticut operation got Idealist single-factor failed. Insistence written-in, to use a gas-turbine electrical generator set. The made-gas could never be made “clean” enough for the turbine blades manufacturers guarantee.
The Alaskan one simply priced down by Big-Oil willing to supply then, piped in Natural gas.
The Hawaiian one never put into service over insistence of clean-green Hawaiin never having any remembered history of power generating with solid mass fuels. (they had long forgotten the old coal Navy ships) “Be Too Dirty!” was the nay-sayers easy to sell claims. Bring in Arabian LNG ships.
Want more By-The-Numbers?
tree-farmer Steve unruh