Are we ready for the 100% renewable energy movement?


by John Ackerly, President of the Alliance for Green Heat
reprinted from Biomass Magazine

Many in the biomass heating movement bemoan warm winters, low fossil fuel prices and the slow pace of conversions to biomass heating systems.  But systems are being put in place to adopt renewable heating and that we can be part of, but we are not.

Scores of cities across the US and Canada have already pledged to go 100% renewable.  Even more will be announcing their plans in the next year or two.  Some cities are only focusing on 100% renewable electricity, but many are adopting a two stage approach.  The first stage addresses electricity needs while the second stage addresses heating.
Take Portland, Oregon, Hanover, New Hampshire and East Hampton, New York. Portland is shooting for 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and plans to tackle heating from 2035 to 2050.  Hanover is planning for 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable heating by 2050.  East Hampton, NY is moving even faster: 100% renewable electricity by 2020 and 100% renewable heating by 2030. Much of this heating will be fueled by electricity but chip and pellet systems could also be in demand.
A parallel trend is the Zero Net Energy (ZNE) movement.  To be considered a ZNE building, a house,  There is no one accepted definition of ZNE, so cities, campuses and communities have some leeway in how they define it.  A strict definition says biomass has to be grown and harvested on-site, but other definitions could include biomass harvested from within 30 miles, for example.  After all, the sun isn’t on-site either but the energy from it is produced on-site. 

building or campus, it cannot use more energy than the renewable energy it generates.

The point is that aggressive renewable energy strategies need to address heating and if the biomass community is not at the table, we may be left out of policies and definitions.  The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association has been at the table in some instances, but they are mostly fighting with the natural gas industry against gas restrictions in ZNE initiatives. 
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) is a natural leader for this type of advocacy, as they represent industry players that heat buildings and campuses.  This advocacy is not cheap and could easily require a full time person to engage with all the organizations and agencies involved in these movements.  But this would be an investment in the future that would pay dividends over the next 10 – 20 years. 
The renewable electricity movement is taking off because laws require utilities to sell or produce a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources.  The mandates typically increase until a target year, such as 20% renewables by 2020, or 25% renewables by 2025.  Legislatures can do this because state-level public service commissions (PSCs) have authority over public and private utilities.  But why don’t we regulate the heating grid the same way as we regulate the electric grid? 
Piped gas is just like electricity in many respects and is regulated in many of the same ways, but are there any gas companies required to ensure that 20% of their BTUs are renewable by 2020?  If gas companies had to install some percentage of their business as geothermal, solar thermal or biomass thermal, the renewable thermal sector would develop quickly, just as renewable electricity has.  Gas companies could install the systems themselves, just like utilities can install their own wind turbines or solar farms, or buy renewable energy credits from companies who build and operate them. 
During these Trump years, federal policy and funding of renewables will dwindle, but that is making some states, cities and campuses even more motivated to push forward.  Renewable heating is part of the equation, but are we at the table?

(This article is reprinted from Biomass Magazine.  The Biomass Magazine version had a slight error in the text.)

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Alliance for Green Warmth to undertake wooden stove alter out evaluation for West Penn Electricity Sustainable Energy Fund

March 22, 2016 – The Alliance for Environmentally friendly Warmth acquired a $ fifteen,600 grant from West Penn Energy Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) for a wooden stove adjust out evaluation.
The grant money will be utilized to suggest alternatives for plans that remove present older stoves, and substitute them with new, wood burning appliances that fulfill or exceed the U.S. Environmental Defense Company (EPA) 2020 New&nbspSource Efficiency Requirements wooden heater restrictions.&nbsp This kind of a software must also consist of a measurement and verification ingredient that ensures existing wooden stoves are taken off, taken off the market, and disposed of.

In addition, the venture will check out the integration of a wood stove modify out system into existing funding or incentive packages, as properly as a household vitality performance software that will drastically minimize wooden smoke emissions and deal with home ease and comfort and air high quality security worries.
“Woody biomass is an plentiful renewable warmth feedstock which has been employed by generations to offer low-value heating for residences throughout Pennsylvania. &nbspWPPSEF seeks to much better comprehend how older wooden burning stoves can be changed by point out-of-the art stoves that fulfill or exceeds EPA’s 2020 New Supply Performance Specifications even though making certain the outdated stove is removed from the marketplace.&nbsp WPPSEF is striving to build a price-effective plan that support homeowners exchange their old wood stove and although enhancing neighborhood air top quality and residence comfort” suggests Joel Morrison, Director of the WPPSEF.
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The Alliance for Eco-friendly Heat encourages present day wooden and pellet heating programs as a minimal-carbon, sustainable and inexpensive energy solution. The Alliance operates to progress cleaner and much more productive household heating engineering, particularly for reduced and center-cash flow households. Launched in 2009, the Alliance is an impartial non-profit group and is tax-exempt beneath part 501c3 of the tax code.
The West Penn Energy Sustainable Strength Fund (WPPSEF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that invests in the deployment of sustainable strength systems that gain West Penn Electricity ratepayers in Pennsylvania. WPPSEF investments are targeted in a few broad groups:
ü&nbsp Deployment of sustainable and clear vitality systems
ü&nbsp Deployment of vitality effectiveness and conservation systems and
ü&nbsp Facilitating financial growth, environmental betterment, and community training as they relate to sustainable strength deployment in the WPP services location.
Visit http://www.wppsef.orgfor additional data.

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Position Announcement: Renewable Energy Project Coordinator

The Alliance for Green Heat (AGH), a wood and pellet heating educational non-profit, based in Maryland is seeking a full-time project coordinator. The ideal candidate will be an organized self-starter with excellent communication skills and a passion for renewable energy. See more information about the project.
The position is based in Takoma Park, MD. The salary is $ 30,000 and benefits include vacation and holidays, as well as retirement and health insurance after one year of work.  The Alliance for Green Heat was founded in 2009 to address renewable energy access and justice for American households.
Essential job functions include but are not limited to:
   Coordinating a technology competition event in April 2016
   Research on pellet stove testing and technology
   Assisting with stove testing support
   Assisting with website maintenance, e-newsletters, and social media
   Coordinating meetings, and providing general office support as needed
Required skills and experience:
   1 – 3 years of work experience
   College degree
   Proficiency with Google Apps, Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint. General computer literacy
   Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
   Ability to multitask, prioritize activities, and work independently
   Some travel required
Desired skills and experience:
   Experience with renewable energy or energy efficiency technology or programs
   Engineering experience or coursework
   College or masters degree in a relevant field
To apply, please send resume, cover letter, and three references to John Ackerly, Jackerly@forgreenheat.org. Application deadline: Aug. 8, 2015

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Media Advisory: Wooden Stove Decathlon to Encourage New Wave of Renewable Energy Generation

MEDIA ADVISORY for November fifteen-19, 2013
Get in touch with:&nbsp
Patricia Brooks, patricia.brooks@matchmapmedia.com, (202) 351-1757
The Heat is On: Wood Stove Decathlon Held on Countrywide Shopping mall to Encourage a New Wave of Renewable Energy Innovation
Modern day wooden stove systems provide a lower-emission, higher performance, and affordable remedy to assembly America’s house heating calls for
Washington D.C. – Modeled after the Office of Energy’s Photo voltaic Decathlon, the Wood Stove Decathlon, having area on the National Shopping mall in Washington D.C. from November fifteen-19, is the ultimate occasion of a technological innovation challenge for teams to layout and build next-generation thoroughly clean burning wooden stoves.&nbsp The celebration is hosted by the Alliance for Environmentally friendly Heat, a non-revenue which encourages the use of sophisticated wood stove technology as an cost-effective power source and dispels myths about wooden and pellet heating.
The Wood Stove Decathlon will showcase technology which dramatically lowers air pollution from wood stoves, can make them a lot more successful and will help the common American household save up to $ one,000 pounds each winter season on heating payments. In addition to the thirteen wood stoves in competition in the Decathlon, exhibitors will characteristic wood and pellet stoves and retrofits, and panelists will communicate on state and federal coverage, resource sustainability, contemporary wooden stove engineering and relevant companies.
The Associates and Sponsors contain Common Mechanics, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Brookhaven Nationwide Lab, NYSERDA, several universities and point out companies and numerous other folks. A full record of sponsors can be identified right here: http://www.forgreenheat.org/stovedesign/sponsor.html.
WHAT: 10 judges will test and assess thirteen finalist stoves based mostly on their capability to satisfy air pollution reduction, efficiency, affordability and other conditions. A winner will be introduced on November 19.
WHEN: The function will take spot from Friday, November 15-Tuesday, November 19. Media highlights contain:

·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Friday, November fifteen, 10:30am-12pm–Opening Ceremonies
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Saturday, November sixteen, one:00 pm–Panel: How Sustainable are Firewood and Pellets in the Prolonged Phrase?
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Sunday, November 17, three:00pm–Panel: What Makes EPA Qualified Stoves Cleaner and A lot more Productive?
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Monday, November 18, nine:00am–Panel: Congress, the Administration &amp Thermal Biomass Policy
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Monday, November 18, 10:00am–Panel: Foreseeable future of Wood Stove Technologies
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Monday, November 18, 12:00 pm–Panel: Creating a Environmentally friendly Label for Wood Stoves
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Monday, November eighteen, two:00 pm–Panel: EPA Emission Requirements: A Looming Struggle
·&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp Tuesday, November twenty, 4:00pm–Final Awards Ceremony
A total timetable of actions can be discovered below: http://www.forgreenheat.org/stovedesign/plan.html.
Exactly where:&nbsp The Nationwide Shopping mall, 12th &amp Jefferson Push SW, Washington D.C.
WHO: &nbspThe entire listing of 13 finalists can be found right here: http://www.forgreenheat.org/stovedesign/finalists.html. &nbsp
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The Alliance for Eco-friendly Warmth is a non-profit that promotes higher-efficiency wood heating as a lower-carbon, sustainable, local and affordable heating resolution. The Alliance seeks to make wood heat a cleaner and far more productive renewable vitality selection, especially for individuals who are not able to afford fossil gas warmth.


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West Penn Energy Sustainable Strength Fund Aids Support the Wooden Stove Decathlon

The Alliance for Eco-friendly Warmth and the West Penn Electrical power Sustainable Vitality Fund (WPPSEF) are operating jointly on the Wood Stove Decathlon to support make reasonably priced wood stoves cleaner and much more effective. Wooden heat is a crucial supply of renewable strength for homes across the state of Pennsylvania and during the mid-Atlantic location but engineering developments are essential.
The Wooden Stove Decathlon, modeled following the Solar Decathlon, is a technologies opposition to see which group can ideal style and develop reasonably priced answers to producing wood stoves considerably less inclined to operator mistake.&nbsp Even today’s EPA accredited stoves execute inadequately when loaded with unseasoned wood and not presented adequate air, which benefits in excessive air air pollution.
The Wood Stove Decathlon was partially impressed by the legacy of Ben Franklin, who in 1744 introduced what has grow to be known as the “Franklin stove” – deemed by a lot of to be the forerunner of American-developed productive stoves.&nbsp In 1826, the Franklin Institute sponsored a contest with a $ 100 purse for the ideal cookstove layout of the calendar year, for the duration of a time when the price tag of wood was skyrocketing thanks to deforestation.&nbsp There have not been any other stove competitions right up until now, when the motivation for a technology obstacle has far more to do with the necessity of lowering fossil gas use and improving air quality.

&nbspAt the Decathlon, there will be a series of instructional panels on innovation in wooden heat technology.&nbsp Joel Morrison, Director of WPPSEF will be speaking on a panel Tuesday morning, Nov. 19.&nbsp Mr. Morrison mentioned, “WPPSEF is delighted to assistance the Wooden Stove Decathlon which will travel innovation and guide to cleaner, a lot more successful stove styles.”
Among 2000 and 2010, wood heat grew 65% in Pennsylvania, virtually double the national average and nearly three instances quicker than any other heating gas.&nbsp As of 2012, a hundred forty five,000 or two.9% of Pennsylvania citizens heated mostly with wood or pellets and far more than 50 % a million use it for secondary heating.
The Wooden Stove Decathlon is currently being held on the Nationwide Mall in Washington, DC from Nov. 15 – 19.&nbsp Companions incorporate WPPSEF, Well-liked Mechanics, USDA, DOE’s Brookhaven National Lab and condition organizations in New York, Washington, Oregon and the District of Columbia. For more data: http://www.forgreenheat.org/stovedesign.html.
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The Alliance for Green Warmth, the organizer of the Wooden Stove Decathlon, is a non-earnings organization advertising cleaner and a lot more effective wood heating.&nbspVisit http://www.forgreenheat.org for a lot more information.
The West Penn Energy Sustainable Vitality Fund invests in the deployment of cleanse vitality systems during the West Penn Electrical power service location. Investments are manufactured to advertise: the use of renewable and cleanse power, strength conservation and power efficiency, and the attraction, establishment and retention of sustainable energy firms.&nbspVisit&nbspwww.wppsef.org for more information. &nbsp


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Task Group begins work to consist of wood heaters in energy audits

Tens of thousands of energy audits take place every 12 months, but wood and pellet stoves are practically often still left out of them.&nbsp The Alliance for Environmentally friendly Warmth took this on, demanding vitality audit institutions to justify overlooking this kind of a vital piece of heating equipment. The leading institution in this space, the Constructing Efficiency Institute, agreed to function with us to produce specifications. We then invited key business and authorities experts to be on a BPI Solid Fuels Process Group, a sub-team of a BPI functioning group (WG-seven) addressing the development of BPI-1200 Standard for Standard Investigation of Structures.&nbsp
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BPI is an ANSI-accredited expectations advancement group, which means that the procedures utilised by BPI satisfy vital demands for openness, stability, consensus and owing procedure. As part of that method, the Reliable Fuels Process Team has started the important but wearisome activity of creating standards that will then be released for public comment.&nbsp
The Strong Fuels Activity Team is produced up of John Ackerly of the Alliance for Green Warmth, John Dupree of the EPA, Rod Tinnemore of the Washington Condition Section of Ecology, Ashley Eldridge of the Chimney Security Institute of The united states, John Crouch of HPBA, Rick Vlahos of the National Fireplace Institute and Mike O’Rourke of &nbspTBHI Displays. From BPI, crucial folks are John Jones, Darlene Welch and Jeremy O’Brien.
Our Job Group addresses the reliable fuel parts for the Combustion Equipment Tests segment of BPI-1200. BPI-1200 provides the stage-by-phase procedures for conducting an analysis of the property that addresses strength usage, and restricted aspects of building toughness and occupant overall health and safety. The analysis will supply a comprehensive scope of work to improve the home and will consist of a cost-reward investigation.&nbsp
Essential troubles to be addressed by the Solid Fuel Activity Team surround how to evaluate the security and effectiveness of a wooden or pellet stove and how to educate and urge the property owner to up grade or repair outdated or poorly mounted appliances.
In August 2012, the New York Biomass Vitality Alliance wrote to NYSERDA asking for responses about how and why wood stoves could be excluded from the energy audits that they subsidize, especially in the northernmost counties.&nbsp
For a lot more track record about the need for this standard, click on here.&nbsp

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