U.S. Wood Pellet Producer Receives First Sustainable Biomass Certification

European energy producers are leading the way in the implementation of large-scale biomass projects, and feedstock sustainability is a critical component in the process of converting from coal to clean power. As these providers continue to incorporate renewable technologies into existing power plants, they are taking a proactive approach to ensure that their wood feedstocks […]

European energy producers are leading the way in the implementation of large-scale biomass projects, and feedstock sustainability is a critical component in the process of converting from coal to clean power. As these providers continue to incorporate renewable technologies into existing power plants, they are taking a proactive approach to ensure that their wood feedstocks meet certain sustainability criteria. This degree of responsiveness illustrates two important points unique to the renewables sector:

• Energy providers are directly taking ownership within their industry by setting operational standards independent of any governmental agency.
• This voluntary oversight provides a high level of transparency into the most sensitive aspect of energy production from biomass: sustainability.

The Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP) framework of standards and processes was developed within the industry to serve the larger biomass market as the benchmark for providing certification and assurance that woody biomass is sourced from legal and sustainable sources. Created in 2013 by some of Europe’s leading energy providers including Drax Power, Dong Energy, E.ON Energy and others, the “SBP’s vision is an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable solid biomass supply chain that contributes to a low carbon economy.”

While its standards do not discount existing and independent sustainability schemes in other countries, the SBP’s application is unique to the European energy production sector. Its goal is not to compete with or replicate other certifications, but rather to augment what already exists, streamline a set of standards unique to the woody biomass industry and improve upon areas that are lacking. The SBP notes that “there is limited uptake of certification in some key forest source areas and the aforementioned schemes [FSC and PEFC] do not yet cover all the key requirements of biomass users.” Addressing a fundamental reality of modern, global markets, sourcing sustainably-grown feedstocks on an international basis is a challenge that the SBP effectively resolves.

From Forest2Market: http://blog.forest2market.com/pellet-producer-receives-biomass-certification

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