June 20, 2017 – Bay Area –
Branching Out: California’s Effort to
Turn Drought-Ravaged Trees into Electricity

Between 2010 and 2015, California lost more than 110 million trees to one of the severest droughts in California’s history.  In 2015, Governor Brown proclaimed a state of emergency and ordered the State to expand options for biomass energy facilities to help process dead trees.  The recent drought may be over, but the massive tree die-off is having lasting effects on our water supply and forest ecosystems. This calamity may also represent a unique opportunity to spur further development of biomass energy facilities in California.

Please join AWWEE’s San Francisco Bay Area Regional Leadership Team for an engaging discussion with Maria Sotero, Climate and Energy Policy Specialist at the California Public Utilities Commission, and Angie Lottes, Biomass Program Coordinator at the Watershed Center.  Our speakers will share details regarding the state’s response to the governor’s proclamation, the need for forest restoration, how biomass energy is part of the solution, and some of the challenges and questions posed by forest bioenergy development.

Special thanks to Buchalter for providing the meeting space and refreshments for this event

Speaker Bios

Maria Sotero

Maria Sotero is the Lead Analyst for climate change in the Energy Division at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In this role, she helps develop and implement regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She previously led oversight of energy R&D programs at the CPUC, and has also worked in communications and economic justice policy. She has a MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a BA in Urban Studies and Planning from UC San Diego.

Angie Lottes

Angie Lottes is the Biomass Program Coordinator for The Watershed Research and Training Center. She works on biomass power policy and community scale project development in California. She organizes and facilitates the California Forest Biomass Working Group and the Tree Mortality Task Force Bioenergy Utilization Working Group. Angie’s experience focuses on ecosystem health and restoration projects including rare plant inventory, forest growth monitoring, and fire reintroduction.  Angie holds an MS in Energy, Technology and Policy from Humboldt State University.


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