PG&E supports Sonoma Biochar Initiative

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PG&E shows it's commitment to a low carbon future by supporting the Sonoma Biochar Initiative.

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative was recently awarded a $1000 “Power Your Community” grant from California utility PG&E. This money is being put to immediate use, helping to purchase a large quantity of biochar for local field trials in Sonoma and Napa counties. Sonoma Biochar Initiative sincerely thanks PG&E for helping realize the goal of installing biochar demonstration plots to gather data on biochar effectiveness in Sonoma County farm settings.

The Sonoma Biochar Initiative (SBI), founded in 2009, is a California-based organization dedicated to promoting biochar education, production and use throughout Sonoma County. SBI operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the Sonoma Ecology Center (SEC) []. SBI interacts with their strategic partners to educate local agricultural operators (including vineyard managers), local government officials, and other stakeholders on the advantages of using biochar to enhance agricultural productivity while reducing GHG emissions. SBI sees accelerated use of biochar as the key to soil restoration and recovery as well as a “fast mitigation technology” being cited increasingly in international climate talks. SBI is seeking ways to establish local demonstration projects for biochar production and application, experimenting with available agricultural and urban yard waste biomass feedstocks.

SBI has initiated formation of a regular biochar working group of key Sonoma County agencies and other organizations. At this forum members identify and discuss options to include biochar in regional soil and water conservation efforts and in ongoing implementation of Sonoma County’s Climate Action Plan, the country’s most advanced such program. These sessions are hosted by the county’s official climate program implementing agency, the Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) []. Participants in this group include the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District, Sonoma County Parks, Sonoma Compost Company, Sonoma County Water Agency, Climate Protection Campaign, and others. SBI also continues to monitor the actions of the California Air Resources Board as it implements the state’s climate plan, AB 32; SBI is especially focused on carbon sequestration protocols and valuation.

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