First page of the Renewable archive.

Are we ready for the 100% renewable energy movement?

Posted by Earth Stove on July 11, 2017 with No Commentsas , , , ,

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.)

Heated Up!

Position Announcement: Renewable Energy Project Coordinator

Posted by Earth Stove on July 1, 2015 with No Commentsas , , , , ,
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

Heated Up!

Testimony in Help of Thermal Vitality in Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Common

Posted by Earth Stove on February 21, 2014 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

HB 931 – Renewable Strength Portfolio Standard – Thermal PowerDay: February twenty, 2014Committee: Financial MattersAssistance John Ackerly, PresidentAlliance for Eco-friendly Heat6930 Carroll Ave., Suite 407Takoma Park, Maryland 20912301-841-7755 Email: jackerly@forgreenheat.org Place: The Alliance for Green Heat urges the Financial Issues Committee to situation a favorable report on HB 931 both in its current kind or […]

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

Posted by Earth Stove on October 17, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , ,

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 […]

Renewable Still left Out of Heating Gasoline Value Reports

Posted by Earth Stove on June 28, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,

For many several years, the federal and condition governments have issued month to month reports on the costs of fuels which includes winter heating fuels so that shoppers, organizations, and the media have accurate info. Typically, this has meant prices of fossil fuels – oil, all-natural fuel, propane, and so forth. Recently four states began […]

Senators Propose Introducing Wooden and Pellet Heat to Renewable Strength Incentives

Posted by Earth Stove on June 19, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , ,

For a long time, home owners have appreciated a 30% tax credit rating on the expense of putting in photo voltaic panels on their house or adding geothermal warmth.&nbsp In Europe, practically each and every region also includes automatic, large efficiency pellet stoves and boilers. Why hasn’t it transpired right here? Senators Angus King (I-ME), […]

In Praise of Distributed Renewable Power (and why wood and pellet heat helps make so considerably perception)

Posted by Earth Stove on May 12, 2013 with No Commentsas , , , , , , , , ,

Dispersed energy era refers to on-site, locally produced power as opposed to the distant and centralized generation of power that has dominated our nation.&nbsp Sheila and Bill Powers, renewable strength specialists and activists argue why residential solar and biomass need to be the centerpiece of U.S. strength policy, not centralized services owned by firms this […]