How to Deal With New Emissions Standards? Some Plants Plan to Burn Wood.

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2,1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground. (National Journal)

While the coal industry bemoans regulations limiting emissions for new power plants, some utilities are already preparing for tightened standards on existing plants, The New York Times reports.

Their solution is an old-fashioned one: Burn wood along with the coal to limit the carbon pollution leaking into the atmosphere. One Minnesota plant has already run a boiler at 90 percent wood, calling it an "emissions-improvement benefit, and an economic benefit."

Writes The Times: "Using modest amounts of wood at a large number of coal plants could be a relatively quick way to phase in renewable energy. And unlike wind- or solar-power electricity from a boiler, burning wood is easy to schedule and integrate into the grid."