Sustainable Forest Biomass Energy: Connecting Forests and Communities Public Policy Issues & Opportunities USFWS Region 5 Biological Conference February 16, 2011. Andrea Colnes, Policy Director Biomass Energy Resource Center. Local Energy –
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Sustainable Forest Biomass Energy: Connecting Forests and CommunitiesPublic Policy Issues & Opportunities
USFWS Region 5 Biological ConferenceFebruary 16, 2011
Andrea Colnes, Policy Director
Biomass Energy Resource Center
A new way to look at the relationship between communities and forests
12.6 million homes nation - wide use home heating oil or propane
Will the US become a leader in the innovation, production, and sustainable use of biomass energy, biofuels, and bioproducts created from local wood and agricultural resources?
Or, will the shift from a fossil-based economy to a bio-based economy lead to exploitation of biomass in a boom-and-bust cycle that does not sustain our region’s economy, communities, energy supply, agricultural base or forests on a long-term basis?
Sustainable Forestry– ensure overall ecological integrity and function
Maximized Efficiency– ensure the energy value of biomass is utilized as fully and cleanly as possible
Local Energy– use local wood resources for community and regional needs and keep investment and returns local
Energy Security– provide communities with a stable, affordable clean, and locally produced source of energy
Climate Change Mitigation– reduce net carbon emissions and increase carbon sequestration
2007 Collaboration, 40 Endorsers
Convened by BERC, the Northern Forest Center, and the Carsey Institute
Wood SupplyBiomass energy applications must be consistent with a reliable and sustainable wood supply
Forestland Area and Ownership Data
Forest Inventory and Composition Data
Forest Growth and Mortality Data
Current Forest Harvesting Data
Sustainable Harvesting:Removals must be consistent with long-term forest health and productivity through an integrated approach
- Biomass Harvesting Guidelines or Standards
- Forest Guild Retention and Harvesting Guidelines for the Northeast and other regions
- Forest Guild Revised Assessment of Biomass Retention and Harvesting Guidelines
- Wood Fuel Procurement Standards
- Best Management Practices
If used efficiently, woody biomass could replace significant portions of the nation’s petroleum use with a local renewable fuel source.
The transition to modern wood heating:
Efficiency increase from 50% to >90%
Wood to Energy Conversion Efficiency(available technology)
Emissions from wood boilers – down by a factor of 1000
New EPA Area Source Rule for Wood Boilers
Historic Claims and Recent Rhetoric
Climate Change:Used efficiently and from sustainably managed forests, woody biomass has the potential to displace fossil fuels and reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions.
$72 Billion on Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Transportation fuels: $16 billion– through the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit Program (VEETC) ($11 billion) and the corn-based ethanol grant program ($5 billion).
Renewable electricity generation: $6 billion– through the Production Tax Credit ($5 billion), the Investment Tax Credit ($250 million), the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System ($200 million), and the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program ($85 million).
Thermal energy: $0– no significant subsidies.
Environmental Law Institute, 2009
Current Biomass Energy Energy
Public Policy Initiatives
Community Wood Energy Program
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 - Sec 399a
Biomass Crop Assistance Program
DOE & USDA grant programs
Primary focus on electric generation: RPS, REC’s
Transportation: CA, MN, OR, PA, WA, WI
Thermal: AZ, CT, MS, OR, PA, VT, WA. WI)
The Vermont Experience Energy
District Heating - Campus Schools:
Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont
District Heating – Campus Schools:
Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation CenterGreenfield, New Hampshire
WOODCHIP DISTRICT CHP SYSTEM Schools:
Towns of Toblach and Olang
SOUTH TYROL, ITALY
INDUSTRY WOOD PELLET HEATING SYSTEM Schools:
Headquarters and Manufacturing Plant, Xolar Group
EBERSTALZELL, UPPER AUSTRIA
Policy and Development Director
Biomass Energy Resource Center
43 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05601
802-223-7770 X 129