Wood is often ignored in renewable energy discussions in favor of the "sexier" alternatives: solar, wind and ethanol. But when we look at the numbers, 85 percent of all renewable energy in Maryland is from wood heating. For years, Maryland has been giving generous rebates to families to install solar photovoltaic panels, geothermal systems and wind turbines. That's great, but the rebates typically go to Maryland's wealthiest residents.
Maryland has made the decision to expand its definition of renewable energy to include wood and pellet stoves. The Maryland Energy Administration has just started the Clean Burning Wood Stove Grant Program, which could ultimately help thousands of rural Marylanders get a new stove or upgrade from their older, polluting stoves.