In contrast to conventional energy: the capital cost and cost per kWh of electricity from renewable energy resources has steadily and reliably come down. Wind power has dropped from $0.35/kWh in 1980 to between $0.035 and $0.10/kWh today. Over the next 10 years, fossil fuel and nuclear prices will either remain steady or increase, while the cost of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies will continue to decline. The US DOE estimates biomass, small hydropower and wind power will all fall below the utility’s avoided cost rates before 2015. We have seen indications of this in Austin, TX, where green power is cheaper than utility power, so they have a waiting list of utility customers who want cheaper energy from renewables. When a utility includes renewable energy resources in their energy generation portfolio, renewable energy will act as a hedge against volatile fossil fuel prices, and reduces the financial risk of a utility. Renewable energy will have a stabilizing effect on NC’s energy prices.
Agent Training Woody Biomass Megalos
Woody Biomass Energy in North Carolina Mark Megalos James Jeuck Extension Forestry North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Our Appetite for NonRenewable Fossil Fuels The U.S. uses about 25% of world oil production, but we have only about 2.5% of the world’s supply * . * Based on June 2007 world cosumption & 2005 reserves
How is Woody Biomass Produced? <ul><li>a by-product of conventional harvesting </li></ul><ul><li>A chipper is added to the mix of logging equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Logging residues, cull trees, thinnings in absence of pulpwood markets are chipped </li></ul>06/24/09
Electricity <ul><li>Dedicated biomass burning electric plants (cogeneration) </li></ul><ul><li>Mixing wood with coal at public utility plants (co-firing) </li></ul>
Combined Heat and Power Heating and Air Conditioning <ul><li>Schools </li></ul><ul><li>Hospitals </li></ul><ul><li>Campuses </li></ul><ul><li>District heating </li></ul><ul><li>Industry </li></ul>
Future Ethanol & Biodiesel Production? <ul><li>Numerous methods developing </li></ul><ul><li>None are working commercial scale </li></ul><ul><li>Best guess is 5-10 years off </li></ul><ul><li>May be largely supplied with coming energy plantations? </li></ul>(slide borrowed from Alex Hobbs)
How can woody biomass markets help you reach your goals for owning land?
What are the benefits to you as a forest landowner? (It’s mostly about better utilization during harvesting) <ul><li>Higher quality timber during logging </li></ul><ul><li>Lower site prep & planting costs </li></ul><ul><li>Some $ for you as markets develop </li></ul><ul><li>It may be the only way to get your plantations thinned </li></ul><ul><li>"Start-over” on: poor or damaged timber land </li></ul>Harvesting with chipping
Fixing “sins” of the past <ul><li>Improving diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Reducing risks </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing economic viability </li></ul>
Forest Health Opportunities 48% of woodlands have too many trees
Wildfire Risk Management/Firewise About 75% of our forests present wildfire threats to structures and communities!
Better Forest Products and Income Through Improved Management
What Will Not Likely Happen in the Forest! <ul><li>Sawtimber becoming energy wood ($35-$49/ton delivered*) </li></ul><ul><li>Chip ‘n saw becoming energy wood ($37/ton average*) </li></ul>**Timber Mart South, 3 rd Quarter 2007 *biomass has been bringing $14-20/ton delivered
Benefits to You in a Nutshell Bottom Line – You may never receive a lot of income directly from biomass markets, but they can help you manage your stands for high-value timber products & wildlife.
Woody Biomass Website Development www.ces.ncsu.edu/forestry
NCSU Extension Forestry Woody Biomass Service Center <ul><li>GIS site analysis for woody biomass supply </li></ul><ul><li>Supply curves for of multiple woody biomass sources </li></ul>