The qualification of whole tree chips as biopower feedstock would increase project development potential
By Bob Synk | April 03, 2012
TRUCKING TREES: Wood from Southern Georgia is hauled during a feedstock investigation project.
PHOTO: THE PARTON GROUP
Power plant developers, project financiers, and government energy planners are well aware that the potential for biopower generation is limited by the availability of economic biomass fuel. The way allowable fuels are defined has a significant impact on the project development potential. A dramatic 500 percent increase in project development would be possible if whole tree chips were not disqualified from biopower feedstock.
Whole tree chips and certain other types of biomass are often excluded from tax qualifications and, in many cases, from power purchase agreements (PPA) and air permits. The procurement of unmerchantable timber and under-utilized pulpwood like bark and leaves in the form of whole tree chips, however, can be a significant advantage for many biopower projects, both in reduced cost and security of fuel supply.