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Biomass for Energy Production - Websites

Market Resources
Informational Publications

Southern Group of State Foresters - Forest Products, Services and You
The forest products industry contributes more than $132 billion to the South’s economy. Timber and its many by-products are the primary resource generated by well-managed forests. But increasingly, the environmental services provided by forests are becoming recognized and given value.
   
  Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP)
BCAP provides financial assistance to producers or entities that deliver eligible biomass material to designated biomass conversion facilities for use as heat, power, biobased products or biofuels. Initial assistance will be for the Collection, Harvest, Storage and Transportation (CHST) costs associated with the delivery of eligible materials.

- Qualified Biomass Conversion Facilities
   
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) is an association of biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America’s energy needs. BTEC engages in research, education, and public advocacy for the fast growing biomass thermal energy industry.
   
Biomass Energy Resource Center
The Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC) is an independent, national nonprofit organization located in Montpelier, Vermont with a Midwest office in Madison, Wisconsin, that assists communities, colleges and universities, state and local governments, businesses, utilities, schools, and others in making the most of their local energy resources.

With funding from the United States Endowment for Forests and Communities and the United States Department of Energy, the Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC) has developed a series of case studies (55) illustrating the development and operational experiences of various community-scale facilities that employ biomass systems.
   
WAEM (West Alabama-East Mississippi)
A team of researchers and economic developers presented opportunities and challenges facing the forest industry in West Alabama – East Mississippi (WAEM). The purpose of the meeting was to look at the WAEM Region’s forest resource assets and begin to determine what regional strategies, if any, should be formulated to preserve, expand, and attract new industries, including biomass and alternative fuel plants.

This website contains PDF versions of the PowerPoint presentations.
   
USDA Forest Service National Forest Products Laboratory
This Forest Products Laboratory has significant resource information on developing and installing woody biomass to energy equipment and includes considerations when investing in new wood-using equipment. Some publications of interest include: Primer on Wood Biomass for Energy, Woody Biomass Energy Opportunities in Alabama and Biomass for Small Scale Heat and Power. The Fuel Value Calculator is a spreadsheet tool that can be used to compare typical unit costs of various fuels (oil, coal, natural gas, wood, etc.). The website also publishes information on how to apply for Woody Biomass Utilization Grants.
   
Alabama Department of Agriculture & Industries (ADAI)
The Alabama State Legislature authorized ADAI to serve as a clearinghouse for renewable energy related information for the State. ADAI maintains a website with a variety of useful information relating to renewable energy research, projects, and financial assistance programs. The website also contains the "Alabama Bioenergy Directory-2007" - A listing of bioenergy companies, projects, activities, and services. The site also lists financial assistance provided through USDA.
   
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is a major provider of funding for basic and applied research for converting biomass resources to biofuels. Many financial assistance opportunities are available for small to large-scale research activities. The Department of Energy oversees implementation of the Energy Acts and related energy laws passed by Congress. There are many grant, loan and tax credit programs listed on the Department of Energy’s E-Center (http://e-center.doe.gov) as well as on http://www.grants.gov.

There are many branches within the DOE concentrating on specific programs relating to renewable energy development. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/biomass) and The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) (http://www.nrel.gov) provide important renewable energy research and development (R&D) information. They also contain information on demonstration projects throughout the country. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) (http://www.eia.doe.gov) website provides a variety of energy statistics, including use by energy source, cost trends, projected future needs, and other related statistics on national and state energy levels.

DOE’s fact sheet, “Biomass Energy - Focus on Wood Waste”, provides some information on utilizing municipal and industrial wood waste to supply energy needs.
   
Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
Established in 1995, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. This website is perhaps the most comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives (grants, loans, and tax credits) that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Instead of listing these incentives in this publication, the reader is directed to the DSIRE website.
   
Alabama Department of Economic & Industrial Development (ADECA)
The Energy Division develops and implements the State Energy Programs that are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Using these funds and other resources, they provide support to communities for increasing the awareness of energy efficiencies and use of renewable fuels to produce energy.

  State Energy Program and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants: Provides technical assistance and grants to governments, colleges, businesses, and non-profits to decrease energy costs and consumption, improve the energy efficiencies of buildings and vehicles, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and spur economic growth using renewable fuels. Funds can be used for feasibility studies, development of improved energy building codes, loans for retrofitting, transportation programs, and installation of renewable energy systems. Significant funding for this program was authorized in the 2009 economic stimulus package. Funds can be used community wide, not only for government owned facilities.

Biomass Energy Program: The program assists businesses by providing up to $75,000 in interest subsidy payments on loans to install biomass energy systems. The program also provides technical assistance, conducts feasibility studies, and promotes biomass through educational workshops.
   
US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA oversees the federal programs, grants, and loans relating to agriculture and woody biomass products. USDA has many programs to assist farmers, rural residents, and the nation to respond to energy-related issues and opportunities. They have an entire webpage devoted to renewable energy. Information ranges from basic scientific research to the development and commercialization of new technologies. USDA has developed “The Energy Matrix as a navigational aide through their many energy related programs and financial assistance programs. In addition, under the “Natural Resources and Environment” subtopic, USDA has links to U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) data, which is the most comprehensive and long-term inventory of our nation’s forests. Using the FIA analysis tools, a user can estimate the woody biomass volume within a set distance of a facility or proposed facility. The Alabama Forestry Commission provides this analysis upon request.
   
Alabama Development Office (ADO)
The Alabama Development Office works with existing business and potential investors for new businesses. Under their “Advantages” link on their webpage, they provide several important reasons for conducting business in Alabama: specialized workforce training, up-to-date listing of available facility sites, integrated transportation infrastructure, and a complete listing of state tax incentives. Agency personnel work with investors to utilize tax, grants, and other financial incentive packages uniquely designed for each investment. They have considerable experience working on forestry, utility, and renewable fuels projects. The website contains additional information on forestry and utility business sectors in Alabama. Agency personnel and their partners are ready to work on a variety of projects to make biomass to energy investments proceed as smooth as possible. For ADO assistance, click on their “Project Assistance” link.
   
The Biomass Energy Resource Center
 The Biomass Energy Resource Center (BERC) is an independent, national nonprofit organization located in Montpelier, Vermont that assists communities, colleges and universities, state and local governments, businesses, utilities, schools, and others in making the most of their local energy resources. BERC’s mission is to achieve a healthier environment, strengthen local economies, and increase energy security across the United States through the development of sustainable biomass energy systems at the community level. BERC’s particular focus is on the use of woody biomass and other pelletizable biomass fuels. They have produced several publications on case studies and considerations when installing biomass energy systems. A few key publications are Wood Pellet Heating Guidebook, Heating with Biomass – A Feasibility Study of Wisconsin Schools Heated with Wood, and Wood Chip Heating Systems – A Guide for Institutional and Commercial Installations.
   
Pellet Fuels Institute
Two additional publications on the benefits of using wood pellets include are found on the Pellet Fuels Institute website and include, "The Pellet Stove Factsheet" and “Pellet Fuel” .
 
 
Southern Agriculture & Forestry Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER)
The vision of the Southeast Agriculture & Forest Energy Resources Alliance (SAFER) is to position the South as the national leader in renewable energy production. SAFER works toward this vision by providing strategic leadership to the agricultural and forestry sectors in advancing renewable energy initiatives. These initiatives focus on better policy, targeted research, efficient commercialization, and outreach and education.