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MARKET WATCH

National Bioenergy Day Highlights Growth, Interest in Industry

Posted by Suz-Anne Kinney on October 14, 2015

The third annual National Bioenergy Day (NBD) will be celebrated on October 21 in tandem with National Forest Products Week, which is the third week of October annually. Managed by Biomass Power Association in partnership with U.S. Forest Service, National Bioenergy Day seeks to educate the public and raise awareness for the many diverse applications that sustainable biomass offers, as well as its important role as an energy source of the future.

To accomplish this, NBD provides a unique level of transparency into the industry by facilitating interaction between bioenergy projects and their local communities. Participation comes in many forms, including conducting facility tours, educating local school groups, recruiting for a career day, sponsoring a staff appreciation day, and many other actionable ideas that positively impact the industry. Simply promoting the day via social media and signs is an easy way to contribute to the celebration.

energy_consumption_by_source_2014

The NBD website notes that, “Bioenergy produces about 2.5% of the nation’s total energy, and supplies full-time jobs for tens of thousands of Americans. It is clean, renewable energy made from materials that are of low value or would often otherwise be discarded. Bioenergy creates new markets for low value wood fiber, which incents sustainable forest management, while supporting vibrant rural economies.”

While the annual National Bioenergy Day is only in its third year, industry participants have the potential to make broad impacts within their local communities. Success stories from the last two years include:

Kentucky

  • The Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Department for Energy Development & Independence teamed up with Murray State University to commemorate the harvest of one of the first legally planted industrial hemp crops in the U.S. since World War II.

  • The National Bioenergy Day event marking this occasion drew representatives from Kentucky’s Government as well as academia, entrepreneurs and industry.

ReEnergy New York

  • In Glenfield, New York, ReEnergy Holdings collaborated with New York Biomass Energy Alliance and the local Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Howard G. Sackett Technical Center.

  • Their National Bioenergy Day event gave seniors studying forestry and environmental conservation the chance to test out logging equipment through classroom simulators. The students were informed about potential opportunities in the forest product sector and encouraged to follow-up about employment and training opportunities. They also heard from a research specialist from the local SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry about the joint willow biomass project.

DTE Mt. Poso, Kern County, CA

  • For the last two years, DTE Energy’s Mt. Poso Cogeneration facility has worked with the local government to recognize National Bioenergy Day with a decree from the Kern County Mayor.

  • Last year, the facility expanded its activities to invite local high school students to tour the facility and learn about the 150 jobs that DTE Energy has created or supports at the facility.

National Bioenergy Day is made possible by contributions from Biomass Power Association, U.S. Forest Service, Biomass Magazine, U.S. Industrial Pellet Association (USIPA), Pellet Fuels Institute, Plum Creek, and Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC). The NBD website has a full listing of participants and events by region, and a detailed Participation Guide is also available for download.

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