ESSEN, Germany, May 13 (UPI) -- Wood pellets produced at a plant in the U.S. state of Georgia will help Europe meets its renewable energy goals for biomass, a Germany energy company said.
RWE Innogy announced it commissioned a plant in Georgia for production of green wood pellets destined for biomass power generation. The Germany energy company says it's the largest plant of its kind and has a production capacity of 750,000 tons of wood pellets a year.
"With the use of wood pellets in our European power plants, we are raising the share of biomass in electricity generation significantly," said Leonhard Birnbaum, a top commercial officer for the company, in a statement.
The wood pellets will be shipped to Europe for use in coal-fired power plants. RWE said replacing fossil fuels with biomass would save around 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
The German energy company said increased use of renewable resources like biomass will help meet European goals of diminishing the amount of fossil fuels used in its energy mix.
Critics complain biomass takes away vital crops and valuable land for other uses, though the company notes the climate in the southern United States and the abundance of wood makes for a common and rapidly growing resource.