Vermont and Upper Austria Create Partnership to Promote Biomass Heating
For Immediate Release
Vermont and Upper Austria Create Partnership to Promote Biomass Heating BURLINGTON, VERMONT … The leaders of the State of Vermont and the State of Upper Austria have signed an agreement to collaborate on the promotion of biomass heating. The agreement was announced at the annual Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) conference in Burlington, Vermont.
Vermont and Upper Austria are both recognized leaders in the development and promotion of biomass heat as a local and renewable heating source. Nearly half of Upper Austria’s heating demand is currently met through renewable sources, with a goal of 100% renewable heat by the year 2030. For its part, Vermont displaces over 40 million gallons of heating oil annually through the use of biomass fuels, and is a leader in the deployment of biomass for schools and public buildings.
“Vermont has been a long-standing leader in North America in the promotion of biomass heating, but there is the potential for us to do much more,” said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. “Biomass is a local and renewable way to heat our homes and businesses that promotes job creation and economic development. This collaboration with Upper Austria will help us to learn from their success, and in turn show them how Vermont has thoughtfully and carefully developed our own biomass resources.”
The memorandum of understanding provides for cooperation between the two states in the areas of biomass heating policy development, scientific and technological cooperation, and education and training. Specific activities could include jointly-organized workshops on biomass best practices; exchange visits by policy and industry experts between the two states; and development of business opportunities for the sale of biomass equipment as well as technical expertise.
Christiane Egger, Deputy Manager of OÖ Energiesparverband in Upper Austria, stated: ”I have visited Vermont several times and was impressed by the range of the biomass and energy efficiency projects. I therefore look forward to our new cooperation which will help us on both sides of the Atlantic in creating green jobs and helping the environment.“
“Responsible development of our biomass heating resource is a winning energy strategy for Vermont,” said Adam Sherman of the Biomass Energy Resource Center at Vermont Energy Investment Corporation. “It reduces our dependence on foreign oil, enhances the value of our working landscape, and supports local job creation.“
“Vermont has an aggressive goal of being 90% renewable by the year 2050,” said REV Executive Director Gabrielle Stebbins. “Biomass heat is a key component to helping us achieve this challenging, but vital goal. This partnership will help us build on the success that Upper Austria has seen.”
The agreement will be in effect for five years.
An Overview of Biomass Thermal Energy Policy Opportunities in the Northern Forest Region
Published November 26, 2013
BERC just completed a new report that examines how existing state policy does or does not promote biomass heating in the Northern Forest states and makes recommendations for how Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York can use public policy to advance biomass heating to meet our energy and economic development goals. Download the full report here.
Q: What is biomass?
A: Biomass is any biological material that can be used as fuel. Biomass fuel is burned or converted in systems that produce heat, electricity, or both heat and power. Woodchips, wood pellets, and other low-grade wood wastes are the major type of biomass fuel. Other common biomass fuel sources are agricultural crop residues and farm animal wastes.
Q: What is BERC? How can you help us with our project?
A: The Biomass Energy Resource Center assists communities, colleges and universities, state and local governments, businesses, utilities, schools, and others in making the most of their local energy resources. We offer services in project pre-feasibility assessment as well as provide a variety of technical and policy resources. Project work includes biomass energy prefeasibility studies, biomass energy RFP assistance and evaluation, and technology assessment.
Q: What kinds of facilities use biomass?
A: Facilities suitable for biomass systems include schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, public buildings, hotels and motels, commercial buildings, greenhouses, large-scale agricultural operations, manufacturing plants, power plants, and community district energy systems (the latter being the use of a central heating plant to provide heat to multiple buildings using buried pipes to distribute the energy). BERC’s expertise is in ‘community-scale’ biomass systems in the 1-to-10 million Btu per hour (output) range.
BERC Conference Activity
International Training Seminar Biomass Heating - Market development and technologies
9 - 12 September 2013, Linz/Austria
The 3-day international training seminar will provide information and know-how on local market development and technologies for automatic biomass heating, based on the experience in Austria. It will focus on small- and mid-scale projects, fuelled by wood pellets and wood chips, covering solutions for homes, smaller commercial/public buildings and district heating grids (up to a few hundred kW).