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It’s Not Easy Building Green Vermont Community Development Association Winter Meeting. OVERVIEW OF WOOD-FIRED DISTRICT HEATING Vermont Technical College Randolph, Vermont March 18, 2008. Tim Maker, Senior Program Director Biomass Energy Resource Center.

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it s not easy building green vermont community development association winter meeting
It’s Not Easy Building GreenVermont Community Development AssociationWinter Meeting

OVERVIEW OF WOOD-FIRED DISTRICT HEATING

Vermont Technical College

Randolph, Vermont

March 18, 2008

Tim Maker, Senior Program Director

Biomass Energy Resource Center

biomass energy resource center berc
Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC)

BERC is a national not-for-profit organization working to promote responsible use of biomass for energy.

BERC’s mission is to achieve a healthier environment, strengthen local economies, and increase energy security across the United States by developing sustainable biomass systems at the community level.

slide3

Imagine your community’s downtown center.

Imagine what it would be like to:

  • Get off oil.
  • To use a heating fuel that comes from your county.
  • Keep all heating fuel dollars in the local economy.
  • Become a renewably heated community.
  • Know that building heat would be affordable no matter what happened in the world.
slide4

This presentation and the ones that follow are about realizing this vision.

First, let’s look at the future of oil availability and oil cost.

slide5

Crude Oil Production in the US

Peak Production in 1970

slide6

World Oil Production History & Forecast:

One Scenario

Peak in 2030

60

USGS Estimates of Ultimate Recovery

50

40

Billion Barrels per Year

30

20

History

10

Forecast

0

2100

1900

1925

1950

1975

2000

2025

2050

2075

Note: US volumes were added to the USGS foreign volumes to obtain world totals.

Source: US DOE, Energy Information Administration

after the world oil peak what happens to communities in rural areas
After the World Oil Peak – What Happens to Communities in Rural Areas?
  • Very high, rapidly increasing oil and gas costs
  • Competitive disadvantage
  • Economic un-development
  • Dependence on an unfriendly global economy
high oil prices and reduced oil availability will have a big impact on vermont s communities
High oil prices and reduced oil availability will have a big impact on Vermont’s communities.
  • Transportation
  • Community planning
  • Downtown development
  • Vibrant, resilient, secure communities
slide9

Local Energy:

A new paradigm for the relationship between communities and forests

slide10

What Are the Characteristics of Local Energy?

  • Uses community-scale technology
  • Replaces fossil fuels with local biomass*, for heat
  • and power
  • Uses efficient, clean technology
  • Has strict requirement for sustainable fuels

* In Vermont, biomass fuel means low-grade wood.

slide11

What Are the Benefits of Local Energy?

  • Keeps local energy dollars circulating in the community
  • Displaces expensive fossil fuels and increases security
  • Scaled to link community energy economy with local
  • resources
  • Acts as a force for sustainable forestry
  • Uses available fuel, woodchips or pellets, at high efficiency
  • Uses manageable volumes of biomass for each project
  • Supports forest-products industry and creates jobs
slide12

Comparative Cost of Heat -Various Fuels

Compares individual building fossil fuel heating to

biomass (wood) district heating

what does local energy look like
What Does Local Energy Look Like?
  • School woodchip and pellet heating
  • Other institutional heating
  • Wood-fired campus energy systems
  • Community district energy
  • (using wood fuel)
  • Small-scale power generation and CHP
community district heating
Community District Heating

Wood-fired central heating plant, with buried hot water piping to individual buildings

district heat infrastructure
District Heat Infrastructure

District heat pipes being laid in shallow trench

slide16

District Heating in Europe

  • In Denmark, 60% of residences (1.5 million homes) are heated through district systems.
  • In Finland, 50% of all space heating comes from district heating; over 90% of all apartments, public and commercial buildings are connected to district heat.
  • Belgrade has 300 miles of district heat piping serving 180 million square feet of building space.

(In the US only 3% of space heating is done with district heat systems.)

slide17

District Heating in Europe

  • District heat share of single-family houses:
  • Iceland 85% (geothermal)
  • Denmark 47% (16% biomass)
  • Austria 13% (21% biomass)
  • Finland 12% (18% biomass)
  • Sweden 11% (42% biomass)
  • Source: http://www.euroheat.org/ecoheatcool/documents/Ecoheatcool%20WP4%20Web.pdf
slide18

District Heating in Europe

  • 5,000 community district heating systems in Europe
  • 78% of district heat sources are non-fossil
  • Biomass (wood residues) is the biggest fuel source
  • Other heat sources also used: industrial waste heat, heat from CHP, geothermal, waste incineration

In Vermont we don’t have these other heat sources, but what we do have lot of is BIOMASS.

biomass community district energy
Biomass Community District Energy

Urban

Setting

District Energy St. Paul

biomass community district energy20
Biomass Community District Energy

Small Community Setting

Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

biomass community district energy21
Biomass Community District Energy

Small-Scale Setting

Green Acres Family Housing

Barre, Vermont

biomass community district energy22
Biomass Community District Energy

Cordwood boiler system

Cobb Hill Co-Housing

Hartland Four Corners, Vermont

creating new from old wood fired district heating
Creating New from OldWood-fired District Heating

Montpelier State Complex District Heating System

new district campus wood energy
New District/Campus Wood Energy

Crotched Mountain Rehab Center

Greenfield, New Hampshire

slide27

Biomass District Energy Development Issues

  • How do we build a new kind of municipal infrastructure?
  • It’s not a technology issue.
  • It’s a money issue.
slide28

Biomass District Energy Development Issues

  • Where could the capital come from?
  • Federal $
  • State $
  • Municipal bonds
  • Private capital
  • Fuel cost savings (ESCOs, a new NESCO?)
slide29

Conclusion

Using our abundant wood residues to replace fossil fuels to heat downtowns using district energy systems makes sense in many ways.

The challenge is how to organize and finance this new form of municipal infrastructure.

slide30

Contact Information

Timothy Maker

Senior Program Director

Biomass Energy Resource Center

43 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05601

802-223-7770 X 123

tmaker@biomasscenter.org

www.biomasscenter.org