Catch up with PFI in this issue of the Pellet Wire!

November 29, 2019 

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Executive Director's Notes: Happy Thanksgiving from the Pellet Fuels Institute 

We’re wishing everyone safe travels and an enjoyable holiday spent with friends and family. You get bonus points if any portion of your Thanksgiving meal is prepared in a wood-pellet burning appliance. If you find yourself eating a pellet-cooked turkey in a room heated by wood pellets, then you’ve won Thanksgiving (photos appreciated).

Residential Wood Pellet Production Running at Full Throttle

Last week, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) published its Monthly Densified Biomass Report for August. Not surprisingly, the report shows a wood-pellet sector running at full throttle, achieving single month production highs for at least one region (East). While both the East and West regions are producing at the highest rates reported since the EIA launched the report, the most dramatic numbers are coming from the East. Through August, this year’s production total is 780,000 tons, up from 640,000 last year for the same period. In 2017, the East had produced 464,000 tons through August. Per month averages also show strong growth. In 2017, the East averaged 66,000 tons per month—in 2018, that number climbed to 84,000. Year-to-date in 2019, the East is averaging 97,000 tons per month.

Driving all of this is a strong demand, with retailers selling inventory almost as fast as they can get their hands on it. In August, the East saw nearly 130,000 tons sell at an average price just north of $180/ton (also a first in the region since reporting began). Inventory levels in the East continue to significantly lag last year’s levels with just 100,000 tons being reported, as compared to 204,000 in 2018 for the same period.  The West’s numbers more closely reflect last year’s number of 103,000, with 2019’s August inventory coming in at 91,000.

Too Early to Call it a Win, but...

On Nov. 19, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures released a draft version of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act. The inclusion of provisions from the BTU Act within this tax package developed by House democrats has been viewed by industry observers as the most promising opportunity to once and for all get the kind of difference making tax incentives enjoyed by the wind and solar industry for the broader wood heat sector.

As currently written, the legislation would extend a tax credit of 30% of the installed cost of a wood pellet stove, pellet boiler or other biomass heating appliance with a 75% or better efficiency rating for a dwelling. It’s important to note that this is precisely what our assembled roster asked for during our recent fly-in effort on Oct. 30. While the PFI and others have been lobbying in support of the BTU Act for the better part of a decade, our advisors in D.C. advised us that the best chance for those provisions right now was to push for those provisions to be included in the House green energy tax package. During our fly-in effort, this was our No. 1 policy ask.

We will continue to monitor this bill’s momentum and share progress, not only here in the Pellet Wire, but also on the PFI’s Twitter account @PelletFuel.

For more information, a link to the bill and a link to the initial announcement please read our short summary.

Tim Portz 
Executive Director

 Send us Photos! 

Photo of the Week: From the Bronze Fonz to the Bronze Fuzz

Pellet Wire Image of the Week: From the Bronze Fonz to the Bronze Fuzz

Last week, PFI Executive Director Tim Portz and PFI Conference Chairman Kenny Lisle performed a site visit at a potential host city for the 2021 PFI Annual Conference. A portion of the site visit was to identify potential golf courses for the annual PFI golf tournament. This edition’s Photo of the Week features a Fuzzy Zoeller statue, which can serve as a hint to the golf aficionados as to the location under consideration for the PFI’s 2021 Annual Conference.

Help us build a collection of photos of our members, their pellets mills, and product! Send images to Tim Portz at [email protected].

Follow PFI on Twitter, Friend Us on Facebook, and Connect with Us on LinkedIn 

We'd like to connect and interact with PFI members and anyone else involved in pellet fuels production! 

Here's how you can help us build our online community:

  1. Follow us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn!
  2. Encourage your colleagues and other business associates to follow us.
  3. Send Tim Portz news or other ideas to post on PFI's social media. 

Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! Let us be the first to know about your company's recent developments, and we will share them with the broader pellet fuels industry.

Please get in touch with Tim Portz via email at [email protected] with information on your company's growth, job openings, promotions, or other news. 

Join a PFI Committee

We welcome and encourage all interested PFI members to get involved in our committees. There are many opportunities to help steer the association. No matter where your expertise and interests lie, we have a committee that will suit you. Help us plan our next conference, shape our policy agenda, lead communications outreach, or grow the PFI Standards Program. Visit PFI's website for more information.  

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Fuel Availability

Are you a PFI member, pellet manufacturer, or distributor that has fuel available? Email [email protected] to have your listing updated or added to the PFI website.

Thanks for Your Continued Support of PFI! 

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Industry News

Biofuel, bioenergy groups applaud release of GREEN Act (Biomass Magazine): 

The House Ways and Means Committee released a discussion draft of the Growing Renewable Energy and Efficiency Now (GREEN) Act on Nov. 19 ...

Read Full Article

Wood pellets keep state workers warm (Adirondack Daily Enterprise): 

For the first winter, a biomass fuel plant is heating three agency headquarters in a pilot run of this emerging technology ...

Read Full Article

USDA: Pellet exports reach 738,300 tons in September (Biomass Magazine):

The U.S. exported 626,471.8 tons of wood pellets in September, according to data published by the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service on Nov. 5. 

Read Full Article

Weber launches first wood pellet grill (Gear Junkie):

Weber is a dominant name in the grill industry. But historically, it focuses on gas and charcoal fuel grills. Today, it takes a big swing at the low-and-slow grilling market popularized by Traeger.

Read Full Article

Commentary: Make it easier for Mainers to heat with wood pellets, chips (Press Herald):

As the winter months approach, the days are getting shorter, the trees are bare and the first snows have fallen. Businesses, homes and schools across Maine are looking at their heating bills and considering their heating options.

Read Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute

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