Renewable Bio Energy

RENEWABLE ENERGY and CLIMATE CHANGE

IN THE U.S.: Biomass-derived feedstocks can be used for
space heating/cooling, district heating/cooling, industrial process
heat, and combined heat and power. Wood can be an important segment of
the biomass energy. Common wood fuel types include wood chips,
firewood/cordwood, wood waste streams, logs, slash, forest residues, and
biogas.

About one-third of the total U.S. energy consumption is
thermal energy. Almost 13 million U.S. households currently have
secondary wood heating equipment installed.  The most efficient use of
wood biomass is to generate thermal energy.

All of the wood to energy facilities in the U.S. and Canada can be
accessed at: http://www.wood2energy.org/WtoE

The U.S. Commerce Department estimates that $40 billion a year
will be invested in clean energy technologies by 2020 generate 750,000
new jobs. Global investment in clean energy and energy efficiency w
reached $155 billion in 2008. Governments have provided “stimulus”
funding of $180 billion for renewable energy projects.

The U.S. ranks first in installed biomass energy capacity. Biomass
and wind account for the largest renewable energy segments. Biomass
energy is growing at 4.3% annually worldwide and accounts for 1.1% of
the global energy capacity in 2008. (Source: U.S. Department of Energy,
“Renewable Energy Data Book 2009”)

Biomass power is eligible for both the production and the investment
tax credit, as well as a 30% cash grant in lieu of either the PTC or
ITC. (Source: www.dsirusa.org ) Grants for biomass projects are also
available from the Departments of Treasury, Energy, and Agriculture
(www.grants.gov).   State renewable energy portfolio requirements create
demand for biomass power. Energy efficiency grants and low-interest
loans may also be available in some states.

The USDA Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) provides financial
assistance to producers delivering eligible biomass material to
designated biomass conversion facilities for use as heat, power,
bio-based products, or bio-fuels. Eligible materials include materials
that would not otherwise be used for higher-value products. Any organic
material that is available on a recurring, renewable basis, such as wood
waste or crop residues. www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home

Other useful websites of the U.S. government programs include:
http://www.commerce.gov
http://www.trade.gov
http://trade.gov/MAS/index.asp
http://www.trade.gov/energy
http://www.trade.gov/envirotech
http://www.buyusa.gov/home/us.html
http://www.export.gov

Other useful websites include:
http://www.biomassthermal.org

IN
EUROPE:

Participants in an “International Conference on Carbon
Storage in Wood Products” held in Brussels on September 1, 2009
unanimously called for a recognition of Harvested Wood Products as
carbon stores during the forthcoming climate change debates in
Copenhagen, which should lead to a follow‐up of the Kyoto protocol.

The Conference, organized in the context of the “Wood in sustainable
development” process of CEI‐Bois Roadmap 2010, gathered leading
scientists on wood products and climate change, forestry and wood
industry representatives from across the globe, with a focus on Europe,
as well as other interested persons. It attracted more than 100
participants and was chaired by Prof. Dr. Ir. Joris Van Acker of the
Laboratory of Wood Technology of Ghent University. The program was built
around three main topics:

• Science on how much carbon is stored in wood‐based products.

• How could a carbon credit system be set up on the basis of this
scientific evidence in a way that it is to the benefit of the
woodworking industries?

• Development of a global action plan in support of Hardwood Products with all partners in the wood value chain.

The participants unanimously agreed that harvested wood products act as carbon stores and this needs to be recognized in future international agreements on
climate change.

In this context, the following conclusions were drawn:

• Wood products are carbon pools. They have an important
role to play in enhancing the effectiveness of forest sinks, both by
extending the period that CO2 captured by the forests is stored before
being released back to atmosphere, and by encouraging increased forest
growth. The HWP pool behaves as a sink when it expands.

• No other commonly used material requires so little energy to produce as
wood. Trees capture CO2 from the air, combine it with water they take
from the soil and produce the organic material, wood. Thanks to
sunlight and photosynthesis, trees trap large amounts of CO2 and store
it in wood.

• Not only is the production and processing of wood highly energy‐efficient, giving wood products a low carbon footprint, but wood can often be used to substitute materials that require large amounts of energy to produce. In most cases the energy necessary
for processing and transporting wood is much less than the energy
stored by photosynthesis in the wood.

• Sustainably managed forests are more efficient carbon sinks than forests left to grow randomly. Younger trees, in vigorous growth, absorb more CO2 than mature trees,
which will eventually die and rot, returning their store of carbon to
the atmosphere. Harvesting trees at the optimum time from sustainably
managed forests maximizes the carbon sequestration potential of the
forest. In addition, converting timber into wood products stores the
carbon throughout the entire product’s lifetime. The participants also
discussed proposals as to how this could be accounted for in future,
agreeing that this should be dealt with once the political recognition
has been achieved. As a follow‐up to the conference, CEI‐Bois and its
members will now deploy a global action plan towards the national and
international policymakers in order to further underpin their request
for the recognition of harvested wood products as carbon stores in the
follow-up of the Kyoto protocol.

Concluding the seminar, CEI‐Bois
Chairman Mikael Eliasson stressed:

“The recognition of
Harvested Wood Products will boost the carbon storage in wood‐based
products thereby helping the Parties to reach the Kyoto Protocol
targets. It has been estimated that an annual 4% increase in Europe’s
wood consumption would sequester an additional 150 million tons of CO2
per year.”

EPF President Ladislaus Döry called the
European authorities for immediate concrete actions:
“Authorities
should reduce the VAT tariffs for “Kyoto‐friendly Products” such as
wood‐based products and stimulate their consumption by rewarding
consumers for renovating their homes and for replacing old kitchens,
bathrooms, etc.”

All presentations are available on the
Conference Website:
www.cei-bois.org/frameset.html

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