“The Changing Landscape of Woody Biomass: Where Does Renewable Energy Fit?” was the theme of the Minnesota Renewable Energy Roundtable held April 9, 2014, in Grand Rapids, Minn. The event was hosted by the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) in collaboration with UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI).
The event featured nearly 20 experts from various parts of the biomass industry. Presentations covered:
- Forestry and woody biomass;
- Biomass chemicals and advanced biofuels;
- Clean energy and economic development;
- Statewide Wood Energy Team;
- Biomass heating opportunities; and
- Policy and Heating the Midwest with Renewable Biomass.
The presenters and attendees confirmed the need to address woody biomass and that there are many things happening in the industry, from Heating the Midwest to the Statewide Wood Energy Team grants, and much more. Just a few key points from the event include:
- The recognition of the growing market in Europe for biofuel pellets and the need to develop the infrastructure and logistical chain necessary to supply pellet fuels from available supplies of woody biomass.
- Nearly three times the current usage of woody biomass in Minnesota could be harvested sustainably.
- The timeline for the typical development of high-value materials from biomass.
- There is a world-class torrefaction facility at NRRI that is near readiness.