Last week, I attended a meeting of strategic partners of the US
Forest Service with other biomass industry groups to discuss
priorities for the coming year. I was energized by these discussions
because of the opportunity BTEC has to address market barriers and
mitigate the regional impacts of low fuel prices and weather. Our
strategic partners are ready to assist us in passing the BTU Act,
achieving tax parity with other renewable energy technologies, and
creating a positive narrative around biomass.
I am also pleased to report that, after attending my first meeting of
the ASHRAE National Capital Chapter, I am confident that the
engineering community can become an important stakeholder group for
our industry. David Bancroft, our new Technical Engagement Manager,
will be making a presentation to the chapter about biomass thermal
technology in commercial and institutional buildings next month.
Please read his introductory message below and welcome him to BTEC.
Welcome Message from
Technical Engagement Manager
Hi all. It is great to be on board at BTEC, and
everyone has been so warm and welcoming.
Just to give you a little background, I was one of the pioneers in
biomass thermal back in the 1980s. I founded and managed the US
Department of Energy's Great Lakes Regional Biomass Energy Program
GLRBEP) from 1983-1988. The GLRBEP had a 40-member technical advisory
committee including industry representatives from the National Wood
Energy Association and the Fiber Fuels Institute. The GLRBEP funded
the installation of wood energy systems in government, institutional,
and commercial facilities across a seven-state Midwestern region. In
addition, it provided public information such as guidebooks on wood
energy conversion, case studies on the technical and financial
parameters of biomass, and state biomass energy facility guides.
In the 1990s, I relocated to Washington DC, and was
staff to the National Bioenergy Industries Association and served as
a liaison on the biofuels work being conducted at the National
Renewable Energy Laboratory and at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
My background extends beyond the renewable energy
field and includes executive management and fundraising for numerous
environmental organizations, including the Council of Great Lakes
Governors, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Organic Voices Action
Fund/Just Label It, and US Healthful Foods Council.
My initial challenges at BTEC will be to jump-start
several technical programs that the organization has been pursuing,
the Commercial Thermal Efficiency Protocol, the first
US efficiency test standard for commercial-sized biomass boilers
in the development of a US ANSI woodchip standard, along
with other industry stakeholders and led by the Biomass Energy
to include biomass thermal in green building standards
such as those promulgated through ASHRAE and the US Green Buildings
and training users in the Wood Energy Financial Calculator,
an online prefeasibility tool to give facility managers estimates of
the cost and energy
hope, with other key staff, to bring in additional members and
funding to BTEC, and help to grow the influence of BTEC in the
industry, and with our government partners. I am glad to be part of
the successful BTEC team!
Policy and Government
Updates provided by Pat Rita >>
of Orion Advocates
View policy information and legislative factsheets on BTEC's Policy Issues page >>
Join BTEC >> to receive the
The Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition and its working
groups are preparing for the expected reauthorization of the Farm
Bill in 2018. BTEC representatives serve on the Growing Jobs and
Economy Working Group, and in this role, we will focus on improving
and enhancing Energy Title programs that could benefit the industry.
Senators Collins (R-ME) and King (I-ME) will again
lead on introducing the Biomass Thermal Utilization (BTU) Act in the
Senate. As a reminder, the BTU Act would provide an investment tax
credit for high-efficiency biomass thermal energy systems. In the
House, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), has been contacted about leading the
lower chamber's BTU Act effort. Kelly sits on the influential Ways
& Means Committee, and represents an area of the state populated
by hardwood sawmills.
We expect both the House and Senate bills to be introduced late in
the first quarter.
Welcome to BTEC's New
Members and Associates!
- TNT Ventures LLC
- University of British
- Michigan Department of
- Minnesota Department of
- Murray State University
"Restoration Renaissance: A New Paradigm in John
Marcus Kauffman, Oregon Department of Forestry
Dan Bihn, Bihn Communications LLC
Click the image above to see how biomass thermal energy helped
revitalize a small town.
Send your biomass success stories to Aaron Aber >>
Committee and Working
2017 monthly committee call schedules have been set!
Policy Committee will meet the last Friday of each
month at 3:00 PM ET.
Strategic Communications Working Group will meet the
third Friday of each month at
12:00 PM ET.
Become a member >> to join
these calls, access meeting minutes, and influence the industry
discussion in Washington and across the country.
To access a
full list of upcoming industry events with descriptions and links to
register, join BTEC >>
Hydronics for High
Efficiency Biomass Boilers
March 30, 2017
HVCC TEC-SMART, Malta, New York 12020
Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition
June 26-28, 2017
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Pellet Association of Canada 2017 AGM & Conference
September 18-20, 2017
Ottawa Marriott Hotel, Ottawa, Canada
International Biomass Conference
Early Bird Registration rates end March 1!
European Pellet Conference
March 1-2, 2017
Stadthalle, Pollheimerstrasse 1, 4600 Wels, Austria
March 1-4, 2017
George World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia
"HPBExpo attracts thousands of distributors and
retailers-your potential partners and customers-that live and breathe
the indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Representing specialty to mass market,
these professionals spend three days steeped in the newest products
and trends that ultimately transform their passion into sales."
Breakfast & Biomass at HBPExpo 2017
March 3, 2017; 7:30 - 9:00 AM ET
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia
"Join PFI at HPBExpo for a breakfast event that brings together
pellet manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and others from the pellet
industry. Hear about latest trends in the pellet industry while
networking with colleagues across the sector. Registration for
Breakfast & Biomass includes a full breakfast. The event is open
to all attendees of HPBExpo."
challenges wood biomass' carbon neutrality
"A new Chatham House report is challenging the carbon neutral
position of wood biomass."
"The 'Impacts of the Demand for Woody Biomass for
Power and Heat on Climate and Forests' has made a number of
recommendations to policymakers including reviewing subsidies paid to
power stations for burning certain types of wood biomass and the need
for full analysis of the impacts of burning wood at the point of
combustion and from collection, processing and transport."
Read more >>
REA corrects inaccuracies in
Chatham House biomass report
Energy Association, Biomass Magazine
This article responds to the claims made in "The Impacts of the
Demand for Woody Biomass for Power and Heat on Climate and
Forests." It focuses on issues of carbon neutrality, forest
management, US forest stock, feedstocks, and displacement of other
renewable energy technologies that were inaccurately and misleadingly
portrayed in the report. Read the rebuttal >>
Join BTEC >> to have your
organization's story featured in our weekly newsletter
· Policy and
and Regulatory Affairs
· Wood Chip
Thermal Efficiency Standard
· DOE Better
Special Thanks to
BTEC's Sustaining Members
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) advances the
sustainable use of wood and agricultural biomass for clean, efficient
heat and combined heat and power to meet America's energy needs and
strengthen local economies.
By 2025, the use of sustainable wood and agricultural
biomass for thermal (heating and cooling) and combined heat and power
(CHP) is a mainstream energy choice. Residential, commercial,
institutional, and industrial customers choose it as an affordable,
clean, efficient, and carbon beneficial alternative to fossil fuels.
Distributed energy from biomass thermal/CHP provides reliability and
resiliency to America's energy infrastructure, and efficient use of
biomass resources. Policies at the local, state, regional, and federal
levels support thermal/CHP from biomass equally with respect to other
renewable sources of energy. Thermal/CHP from biomass enables
sustainable land and resource management, and provides improved soil
and forest health, improved water and air quality, and reduced wildfire
risks. Thermal/CHP from biomass drives local job growth and economic
vitality across America's rural and urban communities.
Do you know
anyone who would benefit from BTEC membership? Share our mission and vision >>