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woodtoenergytaskforcereport

woodtoenergytaskforcereport

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Published by Todd Benoit

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Published by: Todd Benoit on Nov 10, 2010
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September, 2008
2
The Governor’s Wood-to-Energy Task Force Report
The Governor’s Wood-to-Energy Task Force (Task Force) was first convened on January 30, 2008 and
was tasked to investigate and eventually recommend strategies that could provide the citizens of Maine
relief from both the dependence upon and the cost of traditional energy by sustainably utilizing the
forest resources that exist in the region. After several meetings the Task Force adopted the following
mission statement.
MISSION
The Governor’s Task Force on Wood to Energy was established to identify,
evaluate and promote the economically advantageous use and development of
sustainable wood-based alternative energy resources and technologies by
capitalizing on the abundance of Maine’s forest resources. The Task Force
will evaluate the economic, environmental and public health impacts of forest-
based energy alternatives and will provide recommendations to reduce energy
costs, reduce reliance on foreign oil, develop and preserve new and existing
markets and ensure the responsible stewardship of Maine’s forest resources.
The Task Force shall also examine European technologies and resource
management, drawing lessons from their existing markets.
Abstract
The recent trend in heating oil prices is having a devastating effect on Maine’s economy. The
conversion of homes and businesses to modern, efficient, and clean wood fueled heating
systems has many advantages that can mitigate the economic challenges; but the increased
reliance on Maine’s forests also requires attention. There is a strategy that can achieve
increased energy independence and maintain the well being of Maine’s forests and the
industries that rely upon them.
Maine can show the nation how to make green energy. This report shows the way.
The following pages detail the outcome of the Task Force’s investigations and conclusions. The material
on the following pages is based on the presentations, both written and spoken, of many experts
representing a broad cross section of stakeholders. The material also draws upon less formal testimony
from members of constituencies affected by the wood-to-energy initiative who have attended the
meetings. Accompanying this document are supporting documents that provide background and
corroboration for the factual statements and the logic behind the conclusions.
3
Contents
Introduction.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . .. 4
The Wood-to-Energy Task Force Process.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. 6
Important Facts and Conclusions.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . .. 7
--Maine is the Most Oil Dependent State................................ ................................ ............................... 7
--Wood-to-Energy is Already Here.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. 8
- Cordwood.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. . 8
--Biomass.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. 10
--Wood Chips.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. 10
--Wood Pellets................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 10
--Cellulosic Ethanol................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 11
--Public Sector Initiatives................................ ................................ ................................ ...................... 11
--Maine’s Forest Resources, the Pulp and Paper Sector, and Wood-to-Energy.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. 12
--The Wood Harvesting Infrastructure.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. 14
--Summary of Important Facts and Conclusions.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. 16
Wood-to-Energy Task Force Consensus.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. 16
Wood-to-Energy Task Force Suggested Policy Actions................................ ................................ ............. 20
Members of the Task Force.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. . 28
List of Resource Material.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. . 29
Appendix A – Discussion of Sustainability and Wood Supply.. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. 31
Appendix B – The Landowner Perspective.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. ... .. 32
Appendix C – Wood Pellet Fuel Costs in Detail.. .. .. .. .. ... . ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. 33
Appendix D – Specific Public Sector Initiatives.......................................................................................... 35

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