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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Biomass


Study Suggests Residential Pellet Offgassing a Nonissue

Biomass Magazine, Aug. 12, 2015, by Anna Simet.

"According to results from a new study released by the University of New Hampshire, indoor storage of pellets in homes using the fuel for heat does not pose a risk of generating carbon monoxide (CO) levels above recommended thresholds. The issue has been contentious in the Northeast, said Adam Sherman, executive director of Vermont-based Biomass Energy Resource Center."

Biomass District Energy Provides Economic, Environmental Benefits

Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning Engineering, June 2015.

"When John Cressy became facilities director for Sullivan County, N.H., six years ago, a study of the feasibility of utilizing biomass to reduce reliance on foreign fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions was under way. The study did not meet the county’s expectations, and the entire project was shelved. Then, the Wood Education and Resource Center stepped in and offered to do a new feasibility study. 'The study blew our minds,' Cressy said. 'The numbers looked almost too good to be true.'"

USDA Announces Restart of Biomass Crop Assistance Program for Renewable Energy

U.S. Department of Agriculture News Release, June 1, 2015.

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that incentives will resume this summer for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility."

USDA Grant Supports Installation of Pellet Boiler in N.H. school

Biomass Magazine, April 27, 2015, by Rep. Annie Kuster's Office [NH].

"Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., recently announced two grants from the USDA’s Rural Development program that will support projects in two New Hampshire communities.  The Bethlehem School District has received a $30,000 grant that will be used to replace an oil-fired hot water boiler heating system at Bethlehem Elementary School with wood pellet boilers, and the town of Stratford has received a $15,000 grant to improve its town garage, which houses all town vehicles."

BERC Launches Updated Community-Scale Wood Heating Database

Biomass Magazine, April 28, 2015.

"The Biomass Energy Resource Center [BERC], a program of the Vermont Energy Investment Corp., has launched a re-tooled web-based database for tracking the advancement of modern wood heating throughout North America. The newly revised searchable database houses key information on existing community-scale modern wood heating and combined heat and power systems across the U.S. and Canada, as well as an archive of links to case studies."

Making the Switch from Coal to Biomass [CHP]

Cogeneration and On-site Power Production, Mar. 2015, by Thomas Krause and Yaqoub Al-Khasawneh.

A case study of a Danish power station: "With specific modifications, a bituminous coal-firing CHP system can be converted to operate with wood or other biomass pellets."

Biomass Plants Gaining Steam, But Do They Result in Less Carbon?

Forbes Magazine, Feb. 24, 2015, by Ken Silverstein.

"With the Obama administration hammering out its Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions, the biomass industry is positioning itself as a leader in the renewable energy world. With that, a major U.S. utility has struck a deal with other mega-electricity consumers to provide all of their biomass-produced power."

EIA is Proposing a New Survey Form—the EIA-63C, Densified Biomass Fuel Report

Energy Information Administration, Dec. 31, 2014.

"Form EIA-63C will gather information on pellet fuel and other densified biomass fuel production, sales, and inventory levels by operators of U.S. pellet fuel manufacturing facilities. The data collected will be used to estimate densified biomass fuel consumption in the United States, as well as production, sales, and inventory at state, regional, and national levels. Comments are due by 03/02/2015."

Research Aims to Help Dairy Farmers Generate Sustainable Energy

Nevada Today, University of Nevada, Reno, Oct. 1, 2014, by Kirstin Swagman.

"A new, collaborative grant at the University of Nevada, Reno will further research into biomass conversion by developing a cost-effective process for large-scale dairy farmers to generate energy from manure.

The University's new grant, "Sun Grant: Power/Waste Biomass," totals more than $600,000 over two years, with the bulk of the funds coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

Streamlined Motor Management System Boosts Biomass Power Generation [Paper Mill]

Pumps & Systems, Aug. 2014, by Matthias Borutta.

"Trusted gateway connections allow for system growth, efficiency and consistent maintenance at Swedish paper mill.

Paper production requires large amounts of power. The Smurfit Kappa plant in Piteå, Sweden, uses its own biomass boilers to meet part of its energy needs. The cleaning system in place for the high-performance steam generator includes a specialized motor management solution to ensure uninterrupted motor operation."
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