Report provides insight into Vermont’s wood fuels industry

By Erin Voegele | September 04, 2020

Vermont’s wood fuels sector employed 1,794 workers and contributed more than $64.3 million to the state’s gross regional product last year, according to a clean energy report recently released by the Vermont Public Service Department.  

Across all sectors, the 2020 Vermont Clean Energy Industry Report found that the state was home to 18,910 clean energy workers last year, an increase of 0.1 percent when compared to 2018. According to the report, clean energy accounted for 6 percent of all jobs in Vermont last year, up from the national average of 2 percent.

According to the report, the woody biomass fuels sector currently accounts for 1,275 jobs in Vermont, down from 1,303 in 2019, but level with 2018. Other ethanol/non-woody biofuels fuels accounts for 617 jobs, down from 627 in 2019. Bioenergy electric power generation currently accounts for 79 jobs, up from 76 in 2019.

The 1,794 jobs reported for the Vermont wood fuels industry is down from 1,841 jobs in 2019 and includes 452 jobs in logging, 768 jobs in wood fuel processing and preparation, 536 jobs in combustion systems, and 37 jobs classified as “other.”   

The report includes the biennial wood fuels employer survey, which determined approximately 80 percent of wood fuel employers were most concerned last year with government regulations that limit the harvesting of wood fuels. Wood fuel employers also reported being optimistic about the future, with approximately one-third making investments in their wood fuel business because they expected it to grow over the following 12 months. Another third said they were encouraged by the market direction and said they expected their wood fuel revenues to increase. More than 75 percent said they are not concerned with over-harvesting and long-term sustainability of Vermont’s forest resources.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the Vermont Public Service Department website.