June 17, 2016

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Government Affairs Update


The Senate Finance Committee held a hearing this week titled "Energy Tax Policy in 2016 and Beyond." The forum is explored the differing partisan perspectives around renewable energy tax incentives and considered how broad tax reform policy should address energy production in all its forms. PFI submitted a statement advocating for technology and pathway neutral incentives that will allow all energy resources to compete on a level playing field.  

There may be another opportunity to move the BTU Act this year, potentially as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Authority's reauthorization bill. Congress must pass another extension bill, as the current authority for FAA runs out July 15.   

Energy Bill

Senate and House energy leaders will soon meet in hopes of forging some sort of agreement on how to proceed with a conference process on competing energy bills. Democrats are not supportive of provisions that were added to the Senate-passed bill during House consideration and are concerned about going to conference with the House-passed product filled with what they view as "veto bait." Republicans are pushing back, arguing that negotiating over competing provisions and priorities is what a conference committee is designed to do.  

The conference process will have to begin shortly if leadership has any hope of delivering an energy bill to the President this year. Congress is set to leave town in mid-July for the conventions and will be out through August. When they return, there will be about 5 weeks of work in Washington until they recess again to allow for campaigning for the November general election.   

Carbon Neutrality

On the carbon neutrality front, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a FY 17 Interior Appropriations bill that legally binds EPA to recognize the carbon neutrality of forest-based biomass fuels and energy if certain conditions are met.  This is a big step.  We have a long way to go, but this was a very positive development.   We advocated for this provision and will continue to do so until EPA comes out with a policy that recognizes the carbon benefits of biomass fuels.  

Attend PFI's Annual Conference to learn more about federal policy and regulatory activities from Orion Advocates' Pat Rita and Innovative Natural Resource Solutions' Eric Kingsley.  

Georgia Biomass Qualifies for PFI Standards Program

This week, the PFI Standards Program announced the qualification of Georgia Biomass, located in Waycross, Georgia. With the new addition, 23 facilities are now qualified, representing more than 1.5 million tons of annual fuel production - almost half the total U.S. production of pellet fuels for domestic use. 

Read the full press release on PFI's website

Host an Event for Bioenergy Day 2016, Taking Place on October 19

October 19, 2016, marks the Fourth Annual Bioenergy Day! Many pellet fuels manufacturers are planning facility tours and other events to emphasize the many economic and environmental benefits of bioenergy to elected officials, customers, the media and other stakeholders.

We urge anyone interested in building ties to their communities to consider hosting a Bioenergy Day event, either on your own or jointly with other bioenergy businesses or supporters in your region.  There are many resources available to help you plan, including a Participation Guide on theBioenergy Day website. Previous participants are also willing to share best practices, lessons learned, and other tips to ensure a smooth and successful event. 

Thanks to many sponsors, including the U.S. Forest Service, and participants, Bioenergy Day has grown each year. Organizations across the country have engaged their communities on bioenergy, earning dozens of media stories and helping more people understand bioenergy. State and local governments, elected officials, universities and businesses have all recognized bioenergy in its many forms. Biomass power, domestic and export pellets, biogas, anaerobic digesters, combined heat and power - all of these types of bioenergy are part of Bioenergy Day.

To learn more, visit www.bioenergyday.com, or send an email to Carrie Annand at [email protected]

Only 2 Weeks Left to Make Your Hotel Room Reservation at the Conference Rate - Deadline is July 1!

Don't miss this year's PFI Annual Conference at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina! Registration opened last month for the conference, taking place July 24-26, 2016. 

The PFI Annual Conference highlights the various applications of densified biomass, as well as trends and best practices within the densified biomass industry. It attracts a broad range of individuals from the public and private sectors, academia, and local, state and national governments from North America and beyond. The conference features two days of educational sessions as well as industry exhibits, extensive networking opportunities and a golf tournament. 

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities
We are also excited to announce sponsorship and exhibitor packages for the PFI Annual Conference. Sponsorship and exhibition at PFI's Annual Conference offer fantastic marketing and networking opportunities for all involved in the pellet fuels industry. Each year, colleagues from across North America and beyond attend this can't miss conference featuring two days of educational sessions, industry exhibits and social events. For information on sponsorships and exhibition, please contact PFI at [email protected]


Upcoming Industry Events 

June 15-17, 2016 : International Bioenergy Conference

July 24-26, 2016
: PFI Annual Conference

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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.

Industry News

White Paper Discusses State of Pellet Market, Japanese Potential
Biomass Magazine
FutureMetrics LLC released a white paper this month written by William Strauss, discussing the current state of the industrial wood pellet markets and potential opportunities for its growth in Japan. It was once predicted the industrial wood pellet industry would grow to an excess of 20 million metric tons per year by 2016. According to Strauss, "those forecasts did not anticipate the changes in the policy environment that underpins the use of wood pellets in place of coal in large power stations."

He added that U.K. policy changes have eliminated many wood pellet projects, and that the conversion of the Lynmouth power station and possibly the MGT Teeside station, will probably be the last big increases in pellet demand for U.K. power plants. Further, delays and uncertainty in Dutch markets have postponed the 3.4 million metric tons per year in expected new demand. Even so, the purchase of the Langerlo power station in Belgium by Graanul Invest is a positive step forward for expected growth in the Belgium industrial pellet market, with consumption at that plant expected around 1.8 million metric tons per year when it begins consuming wood pellets in 2018.

Read the Full Article

New Pellet Plant Preparing for Mid-July Opening
Boothbay Register, Maine
An Edgecomb man is branching out his forestry management operation. Erik Carlson, a licensed forester and certified logging professional for more than two decades, is busy setting up his new wood pellet plant in Boothbay for a mid-July opening.

On June 6, he spent nearly 12 hours unloading three trailer truck loads of pellet-making equipment sent from Zengzhou, China. Carlson is hoping to produce 800 tons of wood pellets a year to finance his new venture. His interest in the industry was spurred by the generation-long Maine papermaking industry's struggles. Carlson manages woodlots and sells low grade wood to Maine paper mills.

One of his largest customers has been Verso's Androscoggin Mill in Jay. Verso closed its Bucksport mill in 2014, resulting in the mill's diminished need for pulp. Maine's paper mills have been the major market for pulp wood for generations. Carlson once described the low-grade wood as being "good for little else than for making pulp."

Read the Full Article

Researchers Look to Make Bioenergy More Attractive
Post Register, Idaho
Most have heard of Idaho National Laboratory's nuclear research prowess, or its growing cybersecurity expertise.

But the lab's biomass energy research program has largely flown under the radar, much like the renewable energy source itself. A warehouse on INL's Idaho Falls campus is home to all kinds of machinery used for grinding, chopping, compressing and measuring biomass fuels, from corn stover to woody waste.

Read the Full Article

Pellet Fuels Institute |  [email protected]   | 703.522.6778