Dave Beebe – Woody Biomass, Carbon, Climate Change and the Tongass Futures Roundtable Paper in pdf format
BIOMASS PANEL PRESENTATIONS FROM SITKA ROUNDTABLE MEETING, DECEMBER 3, 2009
A panel on biomass energy made presentations to the Roundtable during its meeting in Sitka. Below are the presenters and copies of their presentations.
Larry Mason, University of Washington, Wood to Energy In Washington with thoughts for consideration in Alaska.
David Saah, University of San Francisco, A Carbon Comparison of Wood-Based Heating vs. Traditional Heating Oil Using a Landscape Network Analysis
Robert Deering, United States Coast Guard, Facility Energy Systems Biomass Heating
Larry Edwards, Greenpeace Alaska, Alternatives to a Tongass Biomass Industry, and Reasons for Pursuing Them
- Why we are trying to address the high cost of energy in Southeast Alaska through the use of wood.
- What are the most important energy systems (e.g., electricity, heat, etc.) that need addressing through the use of wood? What systems are inappropriate?
- If wood is going to be used to address all of the appropriate energy needs, how much would it take?
- How much wood is available to meet this demand? Where will the wood come from?
- How will the wood be removed from the forest/sawmills?
- What equipment is needed to process the wood into energy products?
- Is there a business model for these various applications?
- What equipment and technologies are appropriate to manufacture biomass energy from wood?
- What technologies are appropriate to turn the products into heat and electricity.
- Sitka Plans and Projects
- Craig Wood Boiler
- Petersburg Briquette Facility
- Tlingit and Haida Central Council
- Wood Energy Projects
- Projects in the Planning Stages
- Timber Industry Initiatives
- Fuels for Schools
- Alaska Energy Authority
- Juneau Economic Development Council
- US Forest Service
- State of Alaska Legislature
- USDA Rural Development
- University of Alaska, Cooperative Extension
- Denali Commission
Listen to a report on the panel from Raven Radio in Sitka.
Tongass Futures Roundtable – Statement on Biomass Energy (rev. 2/27/09)
The Roundtable believes meeting Southeast energy needs is urgent and critical. Biomass energy provides one of several near-term and long-term solutions to many problems in Southeast, including moderating the cost of home and commercial heating, the efficient utilization of waste products, and an additional revenue source for our local mills.
The Roundtable would like to see any biomass project meet the following goals:
1. Improve regional energy self-reliance
2. Improve community viability and prosperity
3. Increase resiliency and competitiveness of regional sawmills
4. Reduce energy costs and carbon footprint
5. Create jobs and stimulate secondary manufacturing of wood products
6. Make forest restoration more economically viable
7. Reduce volume of municipal and forest waste/turn into a resource
8. Scale industry to regional energy needs
9. Scale industry to regional municipal, commercial, and forest byproduct waste streams
10. Does not create unsustainable exploitation of forest ecosystems or open remote and pristine areas exclusively for biomass feedstock production, although use of feed stock as part of wildlife and fisheries habitat is encouraged.
Adopted by consensus of the Roundtable, May 8, 2008, revised February 27, 2009
Southeast Alaska Wood Energy Workshop
October 29-30, 2008
Sitka’s Energy Supply
Charlie Walls, Sitka Electric Utility Director
October 29, 2008
Sitka’s energy balance is roughly 25% hydroelectric and 75% oil. Given the hydroelectric based power, it is now significantly cheaper to heat a house with electric energy at 9.5 cents per kWh than with oil in Sitka. As a result the demand for hydroelectric energy is increasing. Sitka has used up its existing hydroelectric capacity and is working to expand the capacity of its Blue Lake Hydroelectric Project and develop the hydroelectric potential of Takatz Lake. It is also significantly cheaper to heat a house with wood at $200 per cord than with oil in Sitka. As a result the demand for firewood is also increasing for residential heating. At this juncture there is no use of wood fuel to heat commercial buildings in Sitka and a commercial scale wood supply does not exist in Sitka. Hopefully wood will soon be made available from the Tongass Forest to compete with oil for space heating in Sitka.
Alan Brackley – Demand for Wood Energy Products (131 KB)
Roy Anderson – Transition from Young Growth to Old Growth (7,000 KB)
Obie O’Brien – How to Move Timber (19 MB)
Dave Frederick – Alaskan Heat Technologies
Mike Knobel – Western Oregon Wood Products (13 MB)
Jon Bolling – Craig District Heating (26 MB)
Roger Taylor – National Energy Research Laboratory (800 KB)
Nathan Sobeloff – Sealaska Experience (65 MB)
Dan Parrent – Elements of a Viable Wood Energy Project (5,000 KB)
Dave Atkins – Fuels for Schools and Beyond (16 MB)
Bob Gorman – UAF Cooperative Extension Service (7.5 MB)
Alaska Energy Authority Announces New Renewable Energy Grant Application Period
See the attached news release from the AEA. Due dates for applications are October 8 or November 10, 2008, depending upon the status of the proposed project.
Southeast Wood Energy Workshop Scheduled for October 29-30, 2008, in Sitka
The Tongass Futures Roundtable came together as a group of stakeholders interested in public policy issues affecting the Tongass National Forest and Southeast Alaska. The Roundtable membership consists of community representatives, the timber industry, State, Federal, and Tribal governments, the fishing industry, and conservation organizations. The purpose of the Roundtable is to see if a collaborative effort can reduce the conflict that has characterized the forest and lead to a sustainable economy for Southeast Alaska communities and residents.
At its May 2008 meeting, the Roundtable spent a great deal of time discussing the high cost of energy in the small communities of Southeast and the urgent need to address the problem. The Roundtable developed a consensus statement that sees the use of wood as a part of the solution for these hard hit communities. One of the results of the meeting was direction for the Roundtable to sponsor a workshop to disseminate information about the potential use of wood for energy under Southeast conditions and to begin developing projects using this locally available source of energy. Norman Cohen of The Nature Conservancy, Karen Petersen of the UAF Cooperative Extension, and Andrew Thoms of the Sitka Conservation Society are the coordinators for the workshop.
The draft agenda includes two full day sessions. After introductory remarks, including a keynote speaker, day one is set up around panel presentations. These panels will describe:
Presentation of the problem
II. Potential Solutions
III. Southeast Alaska Experiences
IV. Programs to Assist in Wood Energy Projects
The start of day two will be used to discuss strategies to encourage/promote timber for energy use in Southeast communities. The remainder of the day will be used to begin discussions between the audience and the panels on specific applications that may be appropriate for individual communities. The hoped for result of the workshop is to have individual community representatives, Alaska Native tribes, utilities, and others from the community (or groups of communities), sit down with appropriate presenters/agencies to begin developing wood based energy projects.
Sponsors for the workshop include the Tongass Futures Roundtable, the Denali Commission, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, The Nature Conservancy, the Sitka Conservation Society, Sealaska Corporation, and the Southeast Conference.
More Information on Wood Energy for Southeast Alaska
The Tongass Futures Roundtable believes that the high cost of energy in Southeast Alaska is unsustainable and jeopardizes the viability of many of the region’s communities and residents. While there are several hydroelectric projects in Southeast that provide relatively inexpensive electricity from a renewable resource, only a small percentage of the energy for heating comes from this resource. Additionally, there are several communities with no access to hydroelectric power and the cost of electricity in these communities is prohibitively expensive.
There is, however, another regionally available resource that can be utilized for electrical and heating needs – biomass energy from wood. To provide a clearinghouse for information about the potential use of wood for energy in Southeast, this web page will serve as a repository of information concerning – projects underway in Southeast and relevant projects from elsewhere in Alaska; technologies that may be appropriate for use in the region; summaries of feasibility and engineering studies on biomass energy projects; links to various programs that individuals and communities can access to support biomass energy projects; opportunities to affect public policies that promote biomass energy from wood; and links to media and other stories about wood energy.
This web page is intended to grow as new information becomes available. Anyone wishing to add information to this web page, please send your comments or posts to the Roundtable Coordinator.
Tongass Futures Roundtable – Statement on Biomass Energy
The Roundtable believes meeting Southeast energy needs is urgent and critical. Biomass energy provides both a near-term and long-term solution to many problems in Southeast, including moderating the cost of home and commercial heating, the efficient utilization of waste products, and an additional revenue source for our local mills.
The Roundtable would like to see any biomass project meet the following goals:
- Improve regional energy self-reliance
- Improve community viability and prosperity
- Increase resiliency and competitiveness of regional sawmills
- Reduce energy costs and carbon footprint
- Create jobs and stimulate secondary manufacturing of wood products
- Make forest restoration more economically viable
- Reduce volume of municipal and forest waste/turn into a resource
- Scale industry to regional energy needs
- Scale industry to regional municipal, commercial, and forest byproduct waste streams
– Adopted by consensus of the Roundtable, May 8, 2008
Wood Biomass Energy Projects in Southeast Alaska
Wood Biomass Energy Projects in Alaska
Wood Energy Feasibility Studies
- HB 152 – Renewable Energy Grant Fund
- Fairbanks News-Miner Article about HB 152
- Governor Palin Proposes a Special Session to Assist Alaskans’ Pay High Energy Costs
- Alaska Energy Authority’s Alternative Energy and Energy Efficiency Assistance Plan
Biomass Energy Policy Development in Alaska
- The Potential Role of Woody Biomass in the Economic Revitalization of Southeast Alaska, by Dan Parrent, Juneau Economic Development Council
State of Alaska Alternative Energy Plan Town Hall Meetings Scheduled
Alaska Energy Authority Director and Energy Coordinator, Steve Haagenson, will be conducting Alternative Energy Plan town hall meetings throughout Alaska in May. Five meetings are scheduled for SE Alaska, including:
- Juneau – May 27 5-9 pm at Centennial Hall
- Ketchikan – May 28 TBA
- Wrangell – May 28 4-8 pm at City Hall
- Craig – May 29 TBA
- Kake – May 29 4-8 pm at Community Hall Gym
Links to Other Sources of Information on Biomass Energy for Southeast Alaska
- Cooperative Extension Service, UAF, Wood Energy website. Contains information on residential and municipal heating applications.
- The Forest Products Laboratory website contains useful information about biomass energy from wood. The articles can be found half way down this site.