Today, the Northeast Biomass Thermal Working Group (NEBTWG) called on legislators and state officials in the northeastern U.S. to begin work on meeting 25% of the region's heating needs with renewable energy.
The group's plan, Heating the Northeast with Renewable Biomass: A Bold Vision for 2025, details the path towards a 25% replacement of the Northeast's fossil fuel use in heating with renewable sources of energy. This Vision was developed the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, the New York Biomass Energy Alliance, the Maine Pellet Fuels Association, the Alliance for Green Heat, and the Pellet Fuels Institute. As a result of the Vision, the Northeast Biomass Thermal Working Group (NEBTWG) was formed to advance the use of biomass for thermal energy in the six New England states and New York.
"The northeastern U.S. relies heavily on fuel oil and other fossil fuels to meet heating demand in the region," said Charles Niebling, general manager of New England Wood Pellet and a member of the NEBTWG Steering Committee. "This vision presents a common-sense path forward - a path that keeps dollars and jobs in our communities by promoting the switch to renewable, highly efficient sources of thermal energy. For example, northeastern states consume 5.5 billion gallons of heating oil each year, sending almost $10 billion in economic wealth overseas to foreign nations. Imagine the value to our economy if we could keep a portion of that wealth at home."
In an effort to raise awareness of the opportunity for renewable heating in the Northeast, NEBTWG distributed the Vision with members of Congress, governors, and officials from state energy, forestry, and economic development agencies. More information on NEBTWG and the Vision can be found at www.nebioheat.org. Information on the 3rd annual Heating the Northeast Biomass conference, being held April 13-14, 2011 in Manchester, NH, can be found at www.heatne.com.
"We have an ambitious goal, but with careful attention to forest sustainability and development of the potential of dedicated energy crops, such a transition to heating with renewable biomass can be done," said Dan Conable, executive director of the New York Biomass Energy Alliance and a member of the NEBTWG Steering Committee. "Scandinavia and western Europe give us clear, cost-effective examples of the kind of dramatic transformations that are possible, moving away from fossil fuel heating to biomass heating in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors."
About the Northeast Biomass Thermal Working Group
The Northeast Biomass Thermal Working Group (NEBTWG) is a coalition of biomass thermal advocates committed to working together to advance the use of biomass for heating and CHP (combined heat and power) in the northeastern United States. Learn more at www.nebioheat.org.