July 2019 Newsletter

Dear HTM supporters,

As I sit at my desk writing this newsletter introduction, I feel very fortunate to be sitting in an air conditioned office rather than outside where the heat index is nearing 100 degrees F. In my work environment we think about biomass heating for industrial processes every month of the year, while operating a combined heat and power facility to displace the use of fossil fuels. Most people are not in a similar situation, but can still be planning ahead to the heating season and giving some serious thought as to whether renewable biomass can be utilized as a heat source in your business or home this next Winter. Biomass may not always be the least expensive option available to you, but if it is combusted properly and harvested responsibly, it can bring many ancillary benefits to our environment and local economies. Using biomass for heating applications reduces fossil fuel consumption and keeps the dollars close to home, it helps with waste reduction when using residual sources, can reduce fuel available to forest fires when dead trees are harvested from living stands of trees, and the plant fiber was produced using solar energy. It is certainly worth considering.

Please visit our Heating the Midwest website and keep up to date on the details of the National Bioenergy Day event we are planning for this October 23 rd . We will be posting additional details on the website as they become available under the HTM Events/2019 conference tab, so check back occasionally as the day gets nearer. It will be a great day of seeing biomass utilization in action, some great conversation opportunities throughout the day and evening with people that have common interests in renewable energy and beneficial biomass uses. Please join us on National Bioenergy Day!

Stacy Cook on behalf of Heating the Midwest 

In This Newsletter:

  • Save the Date!
  • Bill aims to require US to achieve 50% renewable power by 2035
  • Biochar: The Hot Material You Don’t Know About
  • EIA Updates 2019, 2020 Bioenergy Forecasts
  • Industry Publications
  • National Funding Opportunities
  • Minnesota Funding Opportunities
  • Social Media
  • Free Publications
  • Ideas for SWET
  • Become an Action Team Volunteer
  • Call for news

SAVE THE DATE – 2019 Heating the Midwest National Bioenergy Day Event!

PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDARS! The Heating the Midwest (HTM) is pleased to announce that it will hold its annual conference in collaboration with Koda Energy and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute’s Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable on National Bioenergy Day on October 23, 2019 in Shakopee, MN. The event will include a tour day of Koda Energy and Rahr Malting, St. Paul District Energy, and Len Busch Roses followed by an evening networking and award reception. This will be an exciting opportunity to see biomass thermal and CHP systems that are important solutions for using urban and other wood waste! Networking opportunities will abound during this event. Additional details are forthcoming. 

HTM Seeking Award Recommendations
This year, Heating the Midwest will be presenting two awards at the HTM conference event on October 23—a Biomass Thermal Leadership Award and a Biomass Thermal Project Award. Recommendations of companies and/or individuals for these awards are being sought.  Please submit recommendations to Tim Portz at timportz@gmail.com

Bill Aims to Require US to Achieve 50% Renewable Power by 2035

New legislation introduced June 26 aims to put the U.S. on a path towards decarbonization, requiring 50 percent of U.S. electricity to be generated by renewables by 2035. Biomass and biogas would help meet that goal.
Read the full story here

Biochar: The Hot Material You Don’t Know About

Biochar, like charcoal, is wood or other biomass resources that are superheated in a low oxygen kiln. The difference is in how these two products are used. Charcoal, as we know, is used for cooking or heating. Biochar is gaining strides in the agricultural and horticultural arenas because it helps soils retain water and nutrients while adding nitrogen. People in the know find it bagged at garden centers.
NRRI is working to bring biochar out of the shadows by expanding markets and developing a life cycle analysis. Researchers are identifying feedstock from Minnesota’s plentiful biomass resources and fast-growing hybrid poplars. But this nascent industry also needs more clear definition and specifications.
Read the full story here

EIA Updates 2019, 2020 Bioenergy Forecasts

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the July edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting nonhydropower renewables will provide 11 percent of utility-scale generation this year, increasing to 13 percent next year.
The EIA currently predicts wood biomass will be used to generate 113,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 114,000 MWh per day next year. Generation from waste biomass is expected to reach 56,000 MWh per day in both years.Read the full story here

Industry Publications

New Publication
Recent Publications:
Other publications:

National Funding Opportunities

USDA’s Guaranteed Loan  provides up to 75% of project costs and is not competitive.
DOE: No-cost technical assistance.The DOE Office of Indian Energy provides federally recognized Indian tribes with technical assistance to advance tribal energy projects at no cost.

Minnesota Funding Opportunities

MDA Biomass Thermal Energy Incentive Program . This is a production-based incentive and pays out based on heat generated by using mostly Minnesota-sourced biomass.

HTM has joined LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter

Heating the Midwest Incorporated has created a LinkedIn page and also a Facebook page. Follow the page to stay up to date with what we’re working on! Also follow us on Twitter.
Click here to follow us on LinkedIn
Click here to follow us on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter @HTM_BiomassHeat

Free Publications

Biomass Magazine and Pellet Mill Magazine are free to subscribers in the USA. Here’s the link to sign up for the magazine and free e-newsletters, free webinars and more: http://www.biomassmagazine.com/pages/subscribe/
BTEC Newsletter : If you are interested in receiving the Biomass Thermal Energy Council’s weekly biomass newsletter and other news releases, you are encouraged to sign-up at:  http://biomassthermal.org/mailingForm.asp

Have Biomass Project Ideas for SWET?

Michigan Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Ray Miller- rmiller@anr.msu.edu  
Website:  http://msue.anr.msu.edu/program/info/wood_energy
Wisconsin Statewide Wood Energy Team
Contact: Olivia Shanahan – PSC –  Olivia.Shanahan@wisconsin.gov
Website:  http://www.wisconsinwoodenergy.org/

Heating the Midwest- Become an Action Team Volunteer!

If you have a specific area of interest related to biomass thermal, we welcome your participation in one or all of HTM’s three action teams-Biomass Combustion Technologies, Biomass Policy & Benefits, and Biomass Resources & Demographics. Is your time often stretched? No problem. Time committed to the HTM effort is volunteer time. Joint action team calls are held monthly via conference call, and calls are limited to one hour in respect of members’ time and busy schedules. Members may choose to volunteer more of their time individually to support Action Team specific projects as they arise. 
Individuals with a passion for biomass thermal energy are being sought to lead the Biomass Resources & Demographics Action Team or the Biomass Combustion Technologies Action Team. This is a great opportunity to share your leadership skills in furthering the mission of HTM and to directly connect with the biomass industry sector and other agencies—all with a goal of growing market opportunities for biomass and specifically for biomass as a fuel for thermal heating and cooling, and combined heat and power. 
The work of the action teams involves developing “boots on the ground” projects for spurring action, discussing industry challenges in each sector and how to possibly address, networking and supporting the overall goals and vision of the Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass initiative in an effort to grow demand and expand marketing opportunities in the biomass thermal sector, and create awareness of biomass thermal.  HTM Joint Action Team calls are held the >> Third Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. CST <<. Separate action team calls are scheduled as needed. For more detailed information on the Biomass Policy & Benefits Action Team, please contact Gregg Mast ( Gregg_Mast@earthtechenergy.com ). Questions pertaining to the Biomass Resources & Demographics Action Team & the Biomass Combustion Technologies Action Team can be forwarded to the action team chair noted, or feel free to contact Becky Philipp ( bphilipp@auri.org ), steering committee member.

Call for Your Midwest Biomass Stories and Events for August Newsletter

As you’ve seen month after month; companies, governments, and communities around the Midwest are making progress on biomass heating and combined heat and power (CHP) programs and projects. If you have a story or event to contribute for next month, please submit by close of business the 3rd Wednesday of the month to kloeffler@heatingthemidwest.org . And, if you’d like to be on the list to receive upcoming newsletters, please contact Kelsey Loeffler at kloeffler@heatingthemidwest.org