January 18, 2010 The University of Tennessee Office of Bioenergy Programs today announced creation of a database of industrial and selected community-scale users of wood to energy facilities across North America. The site — www.wood2energy.org — is a searchable database open to anyone with interest in the state of wood to energy conversion at a national, state/provincial or local operating level.
According to Oregon State University College of Forestry, a staggering 55% of all wood harvested in the world, is consumed as fuel. For almost half of the world’s population, wood is the principal energy source for cooking and heating. In contrast, wood accounts for about 3% of total energy usage in North America with the greatest concentration of use being by the forest industry which leads all sectors in supplying a significant portion of its own energy needs.
“The Wood2Energy database provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date information base of its type,” said Dr. Sam Jackson, project leader. “Such information is vital to making sound planning and business decisions to expand uses of wood for energy while protecting the long-term sustainability of North America’s rich forested estate.”
Data accessible in the Wood2Energy system includes “green energy” developed and used on-site as a byproduct of a primary manufacturing process such as that produced by sawmills or pulp and paper mills, the largest single producers of energy from woody biomass. It also includes the growing number of facilities dedicated to conversion of wood to energy.
Wood2Energy was developed by the University of Tennessee Office of Bioenergy Programs with funding from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities; American Forest and Paper Association; Forest Products Association of Canada; as well as the respective federal natural resources agencies from the U.S. and Canada, the USDA Forest Service and Natural Resources Canada. Additional assistance was provided by the Sun Grant Initiative.
The system is being continuously updated to ensure that it is as comprehensive as is practical. It presents information in tabular as well as map form. The system includes a means for individual facilities to update their information to ensure the most up-to-date data is available.
The Wood2Energy system will soon be supported by a companion report on the current state of wood-to-energy science and technology.
Carlton Owen, President & CEO, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (the Endowment) is a not-for-profit public charity working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities www.usendowment.org.
Samuel W. Jackson, Research Assistant Professor, Univ. of Tennessee Office of Bioenergy Programs
The Office of Bioenergy Programs at the University of Tennessee is actively working toward a secure and sustainable energy future for the state and nation. Housed in the Institute of Agriculture, the Office of Bioenergy Programs coordinates a variety of research, development, and outreach programs, all involving bioenergy.