Responsible Growth


Still buzzed from the two-plus days in Atlanta talking wood bioenergy at the 2012 Bioenergy Fuels & Products Conference & Expo, while going over notes and writing the show report on Page 22, we saw a common theme emerge: How to responsibly manage the industry’s growth.

This message sounded again and again as keynote speakers and technical presenters urged those in attendance to take care in their operations.

Biomass utilization is poised to make a major leap into being a significant and relevant factor in not just local renewable energy markets but overall global energy markets. Biomass is no longer simply a hog fuel afterthought—or a way to provide fuel for pellet stove burners.

Yet growing this industry into a long-term, major player in global energy markets is going to require concerted effort among all involved at every step along the way—from a southern yellow pine stump in south Georgia to a pellet offloading facility in Europe.

Biomass Resource Image 001
From Left: Dan Shell, Western Editor; David Abbott, Senior Associate Editor; David (DK) Knight, Co-Publisher/Executive Editor; Jennifer McCary, Senior Associate Editor; Rich Donnell, Editor-in-Chief

In such a young industry, standards are a critical factor. To capture increased market share, wood bioenergy products must be universally acceptable, easily adoptable and integrated into existing systems, and cost competitive.

Sustainability is perhaps most important, since it’s the sustainability of wood bioenergy that makes it an attractive alternative to fossil fuel energy sources. And safety is a must for any industry: If you can’t do it safely you’re just inviting burdensome regulations that add to costs.

The 2012 Bioenergy Conference & Expo was a great place to find out how to meet these goals to make bioenergy more competitive and attractive. The information disseminated by presenters urged industry players to develop more data-driven approaches to operations and quality control, and to join forces on common issues that pose hurdles for all of industry.

In Atlanta, there was plenty of talk of great growth and increased use of wood bioenergy products worldwide. But managing that opportunity responsibly and wisely will be the best way to maximize growth for the long-term.

Live! in Atlanta—During the event in Atlanta, Wood Bioenergy magazine editors broadcast live show coverage, featuring selected guests and conference updates. For those who missed us live, the broadcasts are archived and can be seen by visiting and scrolling down.