PFI brings densified biomass information to Capitol Hill

By Anna Austin | October 11, 2011

Eight members and staff of the Pellet Fuels Institute have wrapped up a series of meetings with more than 30 senators, representatives, staffers and administrators on Capitol Hill to help them better understand the importance of densified biomass in U.S. energy policies.

The meetings, held Oct. 4-7, focused on three things—the standard definition of biomass, the inclusion of biomass thermal and renewable energy in energy mandates, and leveling the playing field for densified biomass, said PFI Executive Director Jennifer Hedrick.

Hedrick said PFI’s points seemed to be received quite well.  “A lot of the staff members were quite familiar with biomass and its use for renewable energy,” she said. “One area we sought to highlight is the use of densified biomass for thermal applications. We believe that message needs to be relayed more on the hill, and PFI and other organizations are starting to really hammer that message home.”

PFI’s goal is to have biomass thermal included in U.S. renewable energy mandates, Hedrick said. “Traditionally there has been a great deal of focus on electrical generation and we would like to see an increased emphasis on biomass for thermal applications,” she said. “A third of our country's energy usage is thermal, and we will continue to convey its importance to those we meet with on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies."