This past week the Portuguese company Martifer Renewables abandoned plans to build a hybrid solar-biomass power facility in Fresno County, California due to objections from neighbors over air quality. The plant would have powered some 75,000 homes for 20 years, helping PG&E meet its 33 percent renewable energy requirement by 2020 .

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Environmental objections to solar projects on remote federal lands have driven PG&E to seek alternative solutions to meet increasing state renewable minimums. Martifier’s facility would have relied on solar power by day and burned vegetable agricultural waste by night — there’s no shortage of vegetable waste in the heavily agricultural Central Valley. But neighbors objected to Martifer’s plans to truck the waste in, and said that burning it would worsen the air quality in a region that already has some of the worst air in the nation, thanks to industrial agriculture.

It’s too bad, because deriving energy from waste material is the holy grail of renewable energy, and producing energy 24/7 is another important benchmark. Perhaps in the future better raw material delivery plans combined with clean burning technologies could get similar projects off the ground.

+ Martifer Group

+ Pacific Gas & Electric

Via New York Times