"What a great way to start off the
conference", said Jonathan Male, Director of the US Department
of Energy Bioenergy Technologies, after Bede Wellford, Renewables
Sales Manager at Viessmann Manufacturing Company, concluded his
opening remarks at Bioeconomy 2017. The conference, held July 11-12
in Arlington, Virginia, was the Bioenergy Technology Office's tenth
annual event dedicated to emerging bioenergy technologies and markets.
As a Silver Sponsor, Viessmann provided the modern wood heating
industry an opportunity to be visible at the start of the event and
be recognized by the government officials and researchers in
attendance as an important component of the bioeconomy.
Bede began by providing a brief history of BTEC and
outlining some of our accomplishments, including:
of the BTU Act to provide tax credits to defray the costs of
high efficiency wood energy equipment
of wood boiler efficiency and emissions standards to be
recognized by ANSI
of the Wood Energy Financial Calculator to assist in scoping out
costs for wood energy conversions.
Bede then provided an overview of Viessmann boilers
and solar panels available in the U.S., and its worldwide market,
including air-to-water heat pumps. He also informed the audience that
Viessmann is no longer conducting research on fuel oil boilers
because the company views oil as a heating fuel of the past.
Bede next posed the question, "What is the
'bioeconomy?'" For much of the Northern Tier of the US, he
responded, it is wood. Many areas have seen significant declines in
timber and pulp industries. However, there is still a need for lumber
and paper, and for the wood residues that these industries create.
Biomass heating, cooling, and process heat currently provide one of
the only viable markets for these forest residues.
Three benefits of biomass thermal that Bede
reduces emissions that cause climate change, and is close to
carbon neutral in carbon accounting standards.
provides local economic benefits by keeping dollars and jobs in
provides local schools, hospitals, and other institutions
significant cost savings by investing in wood boilers operating
at 80 -85% efficiency.
In conclusion, Bede reminded the audience that biomass
thermal is a significant part of the bioeconomy. While the focus of
the conference was advanced biofuels, bioproducts and biopower, he
advocated that biomass thermal be considered a part of the
bioeconomy, and that wood be understood as part of the solution set
that will help the US move toward sustainability.