In the April 2009 issue of Hardwood Matters, Forest2Market’s President and CEO Pete Stewart argues that wood bioenergy will be a growth opportunity for the forestry industry--wood is available, more carbon friendly than fossil fuels and supported by state and federal governments. While energy companies have been quick to act in capitalizing on new opportunities, the forest and wood products industries have been slow to react.
Signs are emerging that the opportunities have begun to spread. Loggers who use biodiesel may find that they can secure premium prices and steady buyers in companies that export pellets and chips to Europe. Under fire because of the amount of fossil fuel required to ship these materials across the Atlantic, European companies will show a preference for materials that originate in certified forests and that have a green backstory.
Another opportunity awaits sawmills that have pulled all their power from the grid. If the mills convert to cogeneration to heat and power their facilities, these companies could sell carbon credits for their reduced emissions and leftover electricity to the grid. In an economy where sawmill costs and revenues can no longer be balanced using the traditional formulas, reduced energy costs and additional revenue from carbon credits and electricity may be a profitable strategy.
Forest products companies have more experience operating in the nexus between the economy, the environment and energy than any industry other than energy. As early adopters of cogeneration and as self-regulators on the issue of sustainability, the industry has often taken a creative approach toward survival. Future success for the industry will depend upon its ability to do the same at this juncture.
- To read the full article.
- Pete Stewart, President, CEO and Founder
- Hardwood Matters
Suz-Anne Kinney: +1 980 233 4021 or email@example.com