Building on Innovation

Policy and industry collaboration were two topics highlighted at the 2013 International Biomass Conference & Expo.
By Anna Simet and Photos by Jeffrey Schmieg | May 06, 2013

Held in Minneapolis on April 8-10, the International Biomass Conference & Expo welcomed over 1,200 industry stakeholders—technology, equipment, and service providers, academia, project developers, investors, foresters and more—to discuss the industry’s most pressing issues.

The event kicked off early the first morning with tours of Koda Energy LLC and the Elk River Resource Recovery Project. Following an afternoon finance and project development forum, the ribbon to the expo hall and welcome reception was cut by Tim Portz, Biomass Magazine executive editor.
Day two of the event began with industry awards. Charlie Niebling, general manager of New England Wood Pellet, received the 2013 Excellence in Bioenergy Award, and Dominion Virginia Power was awarded the Ground Breaker of the Year Award for converting three coal-fired power plants to biomass.

The ensuing general session’s industry director roundtable focused on the legislative landscape and market growth and opportunities. Each speaker discussed near- and long-term challenges and goals of their respective biomass sector, which included biomass power, thermal, advanced biofuels, algae and wood pellets.

Following the general session were two days of concurrent breakout and question and answer sessions dedicated to specific sectors of the industry: power and thermal, pellets and densification, advanced biofuels and biochemicals, and biogas.

The conference wrapped up with an evening of socializing and networking at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, where attendees enjoyed stunning views of downtown Minneapolis and the bluegrass musings of the High 48s. Completion of a final industry tour the following morning—District Energy St. Paul, Environmental Wood Supply and Target Field—officially marked the end of the sixth annual International Biomass Conference & Expo. Planning is already underway for next year’s event, which will be held in Orlando, Fla., on March 24-26.