Location

Logan, UT

Event Website

http://restoringthewest.org/

Streaming Media

Abstract

Most interest regarding the generation of energy from woody biomass is focused either on producing electricity or liquid fuels for transportation. Current policy incentives at the Federal and state level drive this interest in energy developers. however, one-third of national energy consumption is in the thermal (heat) sector that includes both space and process heat. In the case of the West, many forested ecosystems need near-term restoration to reduce the potential of uncharacteristic wildfire yet the US Forest Service is severely underfunded to accomplish this end and current markets for the byproducts of restoration largely do not exist. A redesign of national and regional energy policy related to woody biomass could produce multiple objectives. The increased energy output in thermal-led energy production yields a higher value per ton for the biomass feedstock that can be used to fund landscape-scale forest restoration efforts. At the same time, wood-based thermal energy can significantly reduce energy costs at facilities currently using petroleum-based fuels such as heating oil or propane. This presentation will explore these concepts and provide a case study example from eastern Oregon.

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Oct 19th, 12:00 AM

Biomass Energy: Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

Logan, UT

Most interest regarding the generation of energy from woody biomass is focused either on producing electricity or liquid fuels for transportation. Current policy incentives at the Federal and state level drive this interest in energy developers. however, one-third of national energy consumption is in the thermal (heat) sector that includes both space and process heat. In the case of the West, many forested ecosystems need near-term restoration to reduce the potential of uncharacteristic wildfire yet the US Forest Service is severely underfunded to accomplish this end and current markets for the byproducts of restoration largely do not exist. A redesign of national and regional energy policy related to woody biomass could produce multiple objectives. The increased energy output in thermal-led energy production yields a higher value per ton for the biomass feedstock that can be used to fund landscape-scale forest restoration efforts. At the same time, wood-based thermal energy can significantly reduce energy costs at facilities currently using petroleum-based fuels such as heating oil or propane. This presentation will explore these concepts and provide a case study example from eastern Oregon.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2011/Breakout3/1