September 9, 2016

In this Week's Pellet Wire:

Visit Wood-to-Energy Check Off Website for Updated Information on Program

Over the last couple of years, a number of individuals and companies from across the wood-to-energy sector have been considering and discussing ways to better address challenges to our sector and seek opportunities for growth.

A group of volunteers from three primary segments of the sector - domestic pellets; export pellets; and biomass power producers - has developed an ad hoc process to study the potential of the USDA Research and Promotion Program (commonly called "check-off") to aid the sector. That group has formed the "Wood-to-Energy Check-off Work Group," working with matching financial support from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities.  

The Work Group is comprised of nine individuals, with three representing each segment of the sector, including PFI members Rob Davis and Bruce Lisle. The group is committed to transparency and open communication as it explores the potential of a check-off program. The group's primary purpose is to look for ways to "expand markets for sustainable, renewable energy from wood."

The Wood-to-Energy Check Off Initiative launched a website this week with more information about the process, including FAQs. Visit for more information. 

Bioenergy Day 2016 Video Released: Biomass in California

The 2016 Bioenergy Day video, sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, was released yesterday on biomass in California.

California is experiencing a drought and, along with it, significant tree mortality across the state. An estimated 66 million dead trees pose safety hazards and fire risks - and biomass can help alleviate the problem. U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore discusses the benefits of biomass. 

Watch the video on YouTube or on and feel free to share it widely! 

Register for Heating the Midwest

The 2016 Heating the Midwest conference is taking place October 11- 13 in the Upper Peninsula's Harris, Michigan. 

Established in 2011, Heating the Midwest represents more than 200 industry, government, non-profit, university and tribal organizations committed to increasing awareness, education and outreach for heating with biomass in the Midwest. We promote thermal biomass to a large constituency, including government policy makers and entities, institutions, municipalities, businesses and consumers. 

2016 is shaping up to be a great conference and we are hoping you are able to participate!


Have News to Share on Pellet Wire?

We'd love to feature your company's news in a future Pellet Wire! We want to be the first to know your company's recent developments to share them with the wider pellet fuels industry.

Please be in touch with Carrie Annand 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.

Host an Event for Bioenergy Day 2016, Taking Place 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 the Bioenergy 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, or send an email to Carrie Annand at [email protected]


Upcoming Industry Events 

September 26-28, 2016: Asia-Pacific Biomass Energy Technology & Equipment Expo

October 11-13, 2016: Heating the Midwest Conference & Expo

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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

Oregon's Congressional Delegation Must Push for Policies that Promote Biomass Projects
Earlier this year, Oregon enacted one of the most sweeping new energy laws in the history of the state. In the next 25 years, Oregon's largest utilities - Portland General Electric (PGE) and PacifiCorp - have agreed to eliminate coal generation from Oregon's electricity supply, to be replaced with renewable sources, including wind, solar and biomass. It's the kind of forward-leaning environmental policy Oregonians embrace - collaborative solutions that combat a global crisis such as climate change while sustainably using natural resources here at home.

In order to achieve this green energy future in Oregon, however, the U.S. Congress will have to provide the right policies to spur investment in renewable energy sources. With biomass, in particular, Congress needs to follow Oregon's leadership in recognizing the environmental benefits of responsibly sourced and tracked biomass in order to realize our full green energy potential.

Read the Full Article

Letter to the Editor - Pellets Are Best 
Greenfield, MA Recorder
It was gratifying to read the well-researched August 23 My Turn column by Harry Dresser, "Study fails to indict wood," in which he puts to rest the anti-pellet assertions by Beth Adams in her August 8 My Turn piece.

In referring to the American Lung Association, Ms. Adams failed to note that the association has run woodstove changeout programs that it maintains will "improve air quality in our neighborhood by replacing old, high-polluting and inefficient woodstoves with new EPA certified wood, pellet and gas stoves."

Read the Full Article

Renewable Energy Works in North Carolina
Fayetteville Observer
As a longtime farmer and commissioner of agriculture for North Carolina, I know very well the value of the agriculture industry to our state. Today I'd like to emphasize the benefits that North Carolina forestry and forest products can have for all parts of the economy, particularly with regard to energy.

Exporting wood energy is a sustainable way for North Carolina to create jobs at home, draw attention to our state's robust forestry industry and reduce carbon emissions by providing a green alternative to fossil fuels.

Read the Full Article

Calirofnia Cap-and-Trade Expenditure Deal Benefits Biomass
Biomass Magazine
The California legislature has passed legislation that aims, in part, to support biomass plants within the state. The bill calls on electricity retailers to enter into five-year contracts for 125 MW of biomass power from facilities that generate energy from wood harvested from high fire hazard zones.

The bill, SB 859, features an expenditure plan for unallocated cap-and-trade proceeds. According to information released by the office of California Gov. Edmund Brown, the expenditure plan deal will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through programs that benefit disadvantage communities, support clean transportation, reduce short-lived climate pollutants and protect natural ecosystems. The biomass provisions are among many provisions included in the bill. 

Read the Full Article


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