The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Bumpy Road to Biomass

Not a pun directed at our last posting, but a reference to a fine article posted yesterday at

Biomass Energy - Mixed Signals Abound

The author, Eric Kingsley of Innovative Natural Resources, LLC, gives us a detailed perspective of the economic hurdles real biomass projects are facing on the ground. And after covering the difficulty facing the biomass power generation, he makes an excellent observation we've made several times in many different ways here at Go Wood:
"Of course, biomass electric isn’t the only use of wood for energy.  Biomass thermal – heating homes and buildings – remains a largely untapped opportunity in a region with heavy dependence on oil for heating."
This is a theme that we will all have to carry around on our collective sleeves, if we want to see biomass make a real and long-term impact on the nation's energy supply. For as many other ways that biomass can be converted to energy, it is still in heating that biomass is most efficient, economic, and accessible.

We'll leave it to Mr. Kingsley to make today's final point:
"Changes in oil prices or not, biomass thermal is often cost competitive in today’s market – but the fear that prices will soon spiral out of control can certainly lead consumers to make the investment in a new pellet stove or boiler, creating a market for decades to come.  Similarly, we are seeing a number of schools and colleges switch from fossil fuels to wood heat – providing nice local markets (with the added benefit of directly connecting students with the local forest industry).... 
What hasn’t changed – and won’t change – is that biomass energy is renewable, local, and helps sustain the region’s forested landscape. "
Well said.

Some great words of advice from former Pennsylvania Congressman John Peterson at the end of this video.

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