Celebrating National Bioenergy Day

The 9th National Bioenergy Day was celebrated on Oct. 20th. The week kicked off with a proclamation from President Joe Biden recognizing National Forest Products Week.
By Carrie Annand | November 04, 2021

The 9th National Bioenergy Day was celebrated on Oct. 20th.  The week kicked off with a wonderful surprise—a proclamation from President Joe Biden recognizing National Forest Products Week. This statement spotlighted energy as a “valuable” forest product, and outlined the administration’s support for “biofuels, biochar, heat and power” from forest materials. He also noted the jobs and extensive supply chain tied to the forestry sector. This statement closely followed a letter he sent to the American Loggers Council for their annual meeting just a few weeks earlier. The letter noted that “healthy forests are an invaluable part of our economy” and that “forest products touch nearly every part of our daily lives.”  Taken together, these two presidential statements signal a strong interest in forestry and the entire supply chain that surrounds forest products, including biomass power.

It’s exciting that we’ve been able to perpetuate Bioenergy Day for nearly a decade, even when we’re on year two of a global pandemic. Because of the challenges of planning in-person events, we teamed up with the California Biomass Energy Alliance to schedule a series of virtual events during the week of Bioenergy Day.

This year, we wanted to give our respective members an overview of where our policy objectives stand, as well as the latest developments we are monitoring. Our Bioenergy Day events consisted of several virtual events spread out over the week. One panel looked at the latest in transportation credits, with Bob Cleaves updating participants on the latest developments on incorporating electricity into the Renewable Fuel Standard. Graham Noyes of Noyes Law Corp. detailed California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, and Jack Barrow, BTR Energy, along with Val Tiangco, Sacramental Municipal Utility District, discussed the lessons we might learn from the implementation of that law. Another event examined the latest in biomass carbon management. Dan Sanchez from the University of California at Berkeley spoke about bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration and the U.S. DOE’s Lynn Brickett provided an overview of the agency’s work in carbon capture. Pacific Biochar CEO Josiah Hunt discussed his company’s ability to match biomass power producers with biochar customers, as well as exciting developments in the new frontier of selling biochar carbon credits.

Additionally, the U.S. Space Force hosted a well-timed event on Bioenergy Day to explore using wood energy to power and heat its New Hampshire station.

We look forward to the return of in-person events in the hopefully not-too-distant future. That said, we appreciated the virtual input and participation from stakeholders across the industry. Whether it’s the RFS or the expansion of biochar markets, 2022 will likely be a breakthrough year for the biomass power industry.

Author: Carrie Annand
Executive Director, Biomass Power Association