The Midwest relies heavily on fossil energy for heating homes and businesses. Heating the Midwest is a network of thermal biomass advocates working to increase awareness and usage of renewable biomass for heat, which has the potential to greatly reduce the region’s dependence on propane and fuel oil for thermal energy.
Guided by a bold Vision, Heating the Midwest proposes that by 2025, 15% of all thermal energy in the Midwest come from renewable energy sources – 10% from sustainably produced biomass and 5% from solar thermal and geothermal sources. This shift in thermal energy sources has great potential to produce economic, social, and environmental benefits for the Midwest.
Heating the Midwest’s mission is, “To advance biomass thermal heating in the Midwest for a more sustainable future, while improving the economic, environmental and social well-being of the region.”
More than 12 million homes and businesses in the Midwest pay exorbitantly for heating spaces and water with propane and fuel oil. But even without access to natural gas, it doesn’t have to be that way. The answer? Biomass.
Biomass in the form of pellets, cordwood, wood chips, agricultural residues or dedicated energy crops, is a cost-effective alternative to heating with fossil fuels. It’s abundant in the Midwest and when harvested sustainably, biomass for heat can have significant environmental benefits. For one, it’s a renewable fuel. And because it’s made from plants, burning it only re-releases carbon the plants previously absorbed – new carbon dioxide is not released into the atmosphere. Another contributing factor is modern equipment. The technologies in today’s biomass stoves, boilers and furnaces emit far fewer particulates than those built decades ago, and when compared to heating with fossil fuels, they emit less sulfur dioxide and mercury. They are also highly efficient and made to minimize human interaction and maintenance. For all these reasons, heating with biomass is more attractive than ever.
The Midwest has a tremendous opportunity with its forests and farmlands to reduce dependence on fossil fuel. The key is educating and creating awareness about the economic, social and environmental benefits of thermal biomass heating. This is why Heating the Midwest exists.
Do you have personal or professional interest in growing awareness for renewable thermal biomass heating in the Midwest? There are many ways to get involved and support the mission of Heating the Midwest.
Join our Email List
You’ll receive our monthly e-newsletter and stay informed with periodic news from Heating the Midwest.
Endorse the Vision
Show your support for renewable biomass by endorsing the Vision.
Join an Action Team
Members of our Action Teams work together to develop information and resources for specific Heating the Midwest initiatives. You can learn more about action teams and how to get involved here.