Harvesting Energy- Options and Challenges from the Bark Beetle Epidemic Marcia Patton-Mallory, PhD Bioenergy and Climate Change Specialist US Forest Service/Western Forestry Leadership Coalition Presentation at: Colorado Forest Restoration Institute Workshop Economic Sustainability and Ecological Compatibility: Where is the room to move? Walden, CO October 21, 2010 1
Major Topics:• Forest biomass as a feedstock for bioenergy• Opportunities and challenges for energy feedstocks from forests impacted by bark beetle• The local situation in CO and WY 2
Forest Management and Biomass• Large volumes of biomass • Fire risks • Declining forest health• Declining infrastructure • Industry decline • Offshore investments and imports • Worker (capacity) shortage • Reduced investments• Markets and barriers • Cyclic booms and busts • No markets • Higher costs • Very distributed resource 4
Dynamics of Bark Beetle Eruption 5 Raffa et al 2008. Bioscience
Carbon Cycle and Forestry OFRI and The Foresty Association
Bark Beetle- Guiding Principles• Meet resource management and public safety objectives• Potential to use existing infrastructure for quicker response (energy and forest products)• Sustainability – Economic (short time frame- 10 years) – Environmental (short term and longer term) – Social (meet renewable energy goals, innovation and learning)• Partnerships 7
Zones of Agreement• Priority on public safety and critical infrastructure protection – Trees falling on roads, trails, in recreation areas, in transmission corridors, and in wildland urban interface• Watershed protection and fire break harvesting on the broader landscape was not an area of broad agreement• Removing trees to facilitate regeneration was not an area of broad agreement 8
Biomass SupplyTable 9. Total available volume over a 10 year period– Hazard Tree Only (Level 2 Road is High Clearance Road) National Forest State and Private National Forests Hazard Abatement Timber 10 Year Total Program General With Without General With Without Lodgepole Forest Level 2 Level 2 State Private Forest Level 2 Level 2 Pine Estimation Roads Roads Estimation Roads Roads Million Cubic 328 561 425 58 16 65 467 700 564 FeetMillion 3.9 6.7 5.1 0.7 0.2 0.8 5.6 8.4 6.8OD Tons Less than 10 percent of the dead lodgepole pine in the epidemic area (four National Forests in northern CO and southern WY)
Cost Factors per OD ton for Forest Biomass Delivery Cost Factors per OD ton for Forest Biomass Delivery$45 $40.70$40 $38.00$35$30 $26.70$25$20 $15.70$15 $11.00 $10.30$10 $5 $0 Biomass Logging Biomass Logging in Chipping Hauling 50 miles Hauling 100 miles Hauling 150 miles along Roads WUI
Existing Facilities Gray area identifies Wyoming all insect infestation. Forests inside the oval are impacted by bark beetle. Colorado Existing larger wood processing facilities, chips/sort yards and wood heating
Opportunities and ChallengesOpportunity Challenge• Harvesting along roads, • Priority material is most recreation sites, degraded and has lowest transmission and wildland- options for higher value urban interface products• New pellet mills in the area • Existing forest products of the beetle kill, but infrastructure has major current sawmills are a long commodity market hauling distance challenges• Fuel switching at existing • Short duration pulse of facilities - eg. bridge material limits new large technologies at power capital investments plants 12
IncentivesState Federal• Strong RPS in Colorado • Dedicated biomass power• CO law requires utilities to vs co-firing and Production switch fuels to meet Tax Credits emission reduction goals • Transportation of 2017-2022 feedstocks (Biomass Crop• No RPS in WY Assistance Program) final• CO Carbon Fund rules not released• State Facilities- no specific • Federal Grants and Loan goals or incentives Guarantees (rural areas) • Renewable Biomass Definition- excludes federal 13 land
Broader Interests• Meeting renewable energy goals for government, community and businesses – Federal campus and facility (including military) – College Campus President’s Carbon Neutrality goals• Smaller scale fuels conversion that goes beyond the bark beetle epidemic: – Campus heating – combined heat and power 14
Opportunity Zone: Co-firing with Coal• Given the length of time much of the material has already been dead, the rate at which treatments can be implemented, and the lack of sufficient primary processing infrastructure (sawmills or veneer mills) it is unlikely that much if any of this material can be sold for sawlogs.• Co-firing of coal fired power plants or industrial/institutional combined heat and power systems hold the potential to dispose of large amounts this material but the costs could be high.• The potentially available material could provide raw material to co- fire 5 coal power plants the size of the one at Hayden, Colorado for 11 to 17 years.• Depending on the haul distance and the source of the raw material the subsidy required to co-fire one of these plants could range from $1.8 million to $7.2 million per year.
Potential Heat and Power Opportunities Gray area identifies Wyoming all insect infestation. Forests inside the oval are impacted by bark beetle. Colorado
550000 400,000 Larger Scale Biomass 350,000 Heat/CHP/Co-firing/Power 300,000 250,000Wood Chips GT /Year 200,000 150,000 120000 100000 100,000 67200 50,000 40000 10000 11000 16000 0 Heat/Cool Co-firing Prison- Heat/cool District Co-firing Sawmill- Biomass campus- with coal- Carson City- campus- U Heating- with coal- CHP Power- 45 Chadron 108 MW CHP of ID Prince of 456 MW MWe Whales Hayden
Opportunity Zone: Campus Heating• Major colleges and universities in Colorado and Wyoming have signed onto American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) which states: – “Within two years of signing this document, develop an institutional action plan for becoming climate neutral”• Military campuses and federal campuses that have district heating that may be viable opportunities. The Denver Federal Center, Fort Carson Army Base and Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs), and Warren Air Force Base (Cheyenne) are closest to the bark beetle area.• State Prison campuses such as those at Rawlins, Canyon City and Buena Vista may be viable options where they already have district heating.• The comprehensive state boiler studies should help identify these opportunities.• Converting to renewable energy sources at federal facilities also helps agencies achieve the goals of the President’s Executive Order 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management.
Opportunity Zone: value-added beyond commodities• Experts in business development and wood utilization, working in the beetle killed area, could develop a comprehensive market analysis for value added products that can use blue stained wood and wood pellets (beyond pellet fuel)• The area of value-added products and diversification of products streams has the highest potential to maintain existing sawmill and pellet manufacturing capacity.• Business enterprises that also use other residues (such as recycled plastic) and that are located near rail transportation should be considered.• Explore options for locating a demonstration portable sawmill (such as Hew Saw or Chip N’ Saw) at Saratoga or within the bark beetle area.
Opportunity Zone:Forest Biomass Energy Technology Demonstration Center• The USDA and Department of Energy have a wide variety of programs that support scaling up and demonstrating new technologies, especially in the area of biofuels.• The large volume of biomass from the beetle killed trees will only be available for the next 10 years, so large permanent commercial-scaled facilities are not feasible unless they would use a wide variety of biomass from urban wood waste streams.• Options to build demonstration scale technology that could benefit from operating full time for 3-6 years could use a significant amount of the forest biomass, and gain useful insights about reliability, cost and operations.• This concept has been implemented in Tennessee for switchgrass, and the concept could be replicated in Colorado at a community that would like to sponsor a site that is near the bark beetle epidemic area.• The C2B2 Biofuels cooperative effort among the Universities and NREL could possibly provide a partnership to help move this forward. It could take 3-5 years to make this idea a reality, and it would not use large amount of biomass.
Railroad Access to Facilities Gray area identifies all insect infestation. Wyoming Forests inside the oval are impacted by bark beetle. Colorado Existing and potential new users showing railroad access
Recommendations to Support BiomassUtilization Along the Value Chain Commodity Value Added Product Product Harvest Chip Transport Sort Bioenergy Transparency of Include chip Transportation Options/needs for Develop businesses that use blue- planned treatments processing/ subsidy sort yards/storage stained lumber to produce value- (Interactive CROP) landings needs in and handling added product near the mill- eg treatment layout Loan/grant Programs trusses, sheds, millwork, pallets, etc. Use all Contracting to upgrade hauling Sort Yard- training Loan/Grant and business options Develop local network of facilities that options including equipment Programs to help workshop use pellets delivered in bulk to by-pass Stewardship or businesses upgrade Focused analysis of commodity bag market. Service for different equipment log transport/ chip vs sized businesses Alternative value-added products using chip and transport Chip processing and pellets made locally- eg erosion Loan/Grant (technical assistance handling training in waddles, landscape mats, pet bedding Programs to help workshop) logger training businesses upgrade Matching incentives with projects (clean chips for equipment Maintain a viable sawlog supply using energy) Logger training and bark beetle material that is within the certification at first two years of mortality Community Colleges
Western Forestry Leadership CoalitionWe work as a Coalition to address critical resources issues across ownerships and jurisdictions. We assist family forest owners, rural and state fire organizations, and community forestry groups; improving forest health, encouraging land conservation, and stimulating community economic recovery. http://www.wflccenter.org/ US Forest Service Web sites: Biomass www.fs.fed.us/woodybiomass/ Climate Change www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/ Interagency Woody Biomass information: www.forestsandrangelands.gov/woody_biomass email@example.com (970) 295-5947 23