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BIOMASS ENERGY INITIATIVE

Forest Stewardship is critical to the health of Maryland’s environment and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. But, healthy forests are the result of deliberate maintenance and management, which costs money to accomplish. Creating markets for the wood material products that are generated by forest maintenance could help cover these costs and provide local economic benefits, jobs and wages. Demand for wood material products not used for construction and manufacturing could also serve as an affordable, sustainable, locally accessible, source of energy using advanced energy technologies. How does this renewable energy opportunity balance with forest conservation and preservation priorities? 
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BIOMASS ENERGY WEBINAR SERIES

Join policymakers, industry experts and environmental advocates for this special Webinar Series, examining the impacts and advantages of utilizing wood resources for thermal biomass energy in Maryland.

This webinar series will highlight available technologies, economic competitiveness, ease of installing and operating biomass energy systems to examine how Maryland commercial and institutional consumers can benefit from the adoption of thermal biomass energy solutions.

Speakers will share case study examples of successful projects and discussions will cover a range of economic, operational, environmental, policy, and regulatory considerations.

Maryland has an untapped supply of energy that could diversify and expand our renewable energy portfolio, help local economies, and maintain or improve forest health without increasing carbon emissions: woody biomass. In this series of webinars, we will share information, listen to concerns, and address challenges to using woody biomass to meet MD's energy needs and support sustainable forest management.

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SESSION 1 SPEAKERS
Adams_Maura

 

MAURA ADAMS

Program Director
Northern Forest Center

Fernholz_Kathryn

 

KATHRYN FERNHOLZ

President/CEO
Dovetail Partners

Haddaway-Riccio_Jeannie

 

JEANNIE HADDAWAY-RICCIO

Secretary
MD Dept. of Natural Resources

Kurtz_Josh

 

JOSH KURTZ

Policy and Government Relations Director
The Nature Conservancy

MODERATOR
Allen_Gary

 

GARY ALLEN

President
Maryland Forestry Foundation

Using woody biomass for energy has positive impacts on forest health, when the right policy framework is in place. It is important for educated stakeholders to work together to create sound policies for sustainable forest management using woody biomass for energy.

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SESSION 2 SPEAKERS
Haerle_Wade

 

WADE HAERLE

Agriculture and Energy Program Manager
MD Dept. of Commerce

Kittler_Brian

 

BRIAN KITTLER

Senior Director of Forest Restoration
American Forests

Schulz_Kelly

 

KELLY SCHULZ

Secretary
MD Dept. of Commerce

Wear_David

 

DR. DAVID WEAR

Nonresident Senior Fellow
Resources for the Future

MODERATOR
Keech_Donelle

 

DONNELLE KEECH

Resilient Forests Program Director
The Nature Conservancy

Using woody biomass for energy has neutral impacts on carbon emissions when the right policy and regulatory framework are in place. It is important for educated stakeholders to work together to create sound policies and regulations for the harvest and use of woody biomass for energy.

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SESSION 3 SPEAKERS
Campbell_Elliott

 

DR. ELLIOTT CAMPBELL 

Director, Center for Economic and Social Science
MD Dept. of Natural Resources

DeLyser_Kendall

 

KENDALL DELYSER

Senior Manager of Forests and Climate
American Forests

Dorsey_Suzanne

 

DR. SUZANNE DORSEY

Assistant Secretary
MD Dept. of the Environment

Rider_Dan

 

DAN RIDER

Forest Stewardship & Utilization Program Manager
MD Dept. of Natural Resources

MODERATOR
Jolly_K

 

KENNETH JOLLY

Acting Director/State Forester
MD DNR Forest Service

Woody biomass is already available in abundance in Maryland but, the use of this renewable fuel source for energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, has not been widely adopted. Best management practices of ‘right-sizing’ designs for modern current and evolving technologies allow for this type of energy solution to be cost-effective and meet air quality standards.

This session offers a high-level synopsis of various wood energy applications: low temperature boiler, thermal storage, distributed heating, etc. These examples cover diverse uses: industrial processing, university campuses, hospitals, schools, and part-year heating.

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SESSION 4 SPEAKERS
Cheynet_Kyla

 

KYLA CHEYNET

Sustainability Manager
Drax Biomass

Hafner_Matt

 

MATT HAFNER

Lead Engineer, Chemical Unit, Air Quality Permits Program
MD Dept. of the Environment

Speaker No Photo

 

LEW MCCREERY

Forest Products Technologist
USDA Forest Service

Rider_Dan

 

DAN RIDER

Forest Stewardship & Utilization Program Manager
MD Dept. of Natural Resources

Speaker No Photo

 

DAN WILSON

Vice President
Wilson Engineering Services, PC

MODERATOR
Magruder_Katherine

 

I. KATHERINE MAGRUDER

Executive Director
Maryland Clean Energy Center

Woody biomass is already made in abundance in Maryland. However, the use of this renewable fuel source for energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, has not been widely adopted. Project design and financing technical assistance is available.

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SESSION 5 SPEAKERS
Aime_Garry

 

GARRY AIME

Energy Program Manager
Maryland Energy Administration

Shiflett_Wyatt

 

WYATT SHIFLETT

Director of Finance Programs
Maryland Clean Energy Center

Speaker No Photo

 

BRUCE WEAVER

State Energy Coordinator/ Program Specialist
USDA Rural Development

MODERATOR
Magruder_Katherine

 

I. KATHERINE MAGRUDER

Executive Director
Maryland Clean Energy Center

BIOMASS ENERGY UTILIZATION WHITEPAPER

All energy systems and each consumption choice we make comes with associated impacts and trade-offs. The impacts of these choices vary depending upon several factors and conditions, including technology and available alternatives. Bioenergy and the use of woody biomass for thermal or electric energy production are important strategies for reducing the dependence on fossil fuel energy sources and for shifting toward the use of alternative renewable energy resources.

Maryland’s current renewable energy policy emphasizes solar and wind with limited opportunity offered for biomass energy. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act (GGRA) mentions the use of wood for thermal energy but is not being strongly pursued. Barriers to the use of wood resources to meet renewable energy and climate change mitigation goals could be reduced through policy changes that balance the incentives associated with diverse sources of renewable energy and by emphasizing opportunities to use wood in thermal energy applications to displace fossil fuel consumption.

Research shows that strong markets for forest products, including biomass markets, can support keeping forests as forests and contribute to diverse goals for forest health and resiliency. In general, use of biomass from residues, waste materials, low-value materials or sustainably managed forests in highly efficient systems provide the greatest carbon benefits in comparison to non-renewable, fossil-fuel based systems.

Barriers to the use of wood resources to meet renewable energy and climate change mitigation goals could be reduced through policy changes that balance the incentives associated with diverse sources of renewable energy and by emphasizing opportunities to use wood in thermal energy applications to displace fossil fuel consumption.

This paper addresses environmental concerns and potential impacts associated with development of woody biomass energy in Maryland. The paper relies upon research findings and comparisons of alternative energy systems. Concerns that are addressed include effects on forest harvest rates and health, carbon emissions, and policy considerations.

These programs and resources are offered in association with the Spurring Fossil Free- Biomass initiative, brought to you by the Maryland Forestry Foundation and Maryland Clean Energy Center in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Sustainable Forestry Council, with funding from the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Fund.

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