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Title: Estimates of wood energy demand for residential use in Alaska: an update

Author: Daniels, Jean M.; Paruszkiewicz, Michael D.;

Date: 2016

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-928. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 32 p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Efforts to amend the Tongass National Forest Land Management Plan have necessitated the development of several management scenarios to assist with planning efforts. One scenario focuses on increasing the utilization of sawmill residues and low-grade material as feedstock for expanding biomass energy markets. The development of a biomass industry is viewed as a solution for a variety of problems in Alaska, from high heating fuel costs to a persistent lack of markets for mill and logging residue and low-grade logs since the last Alaska pulp mill closed in 1997. To support scenario development and ongoing statewide energy assessments, we used the methods from an earlier study to estimate the volume of wood required to meet potential residential demand for wood energy products in the state. Specifically, results show that converting from heating oil to wood-based energy products in Alaska could generate demand for up to 367,000 cords of green wood or 590,000 tons of wood pellets. These estimates of the potential size and demand of local biomass markets are critically important for industry feasibility assessments, as well as attracting capital to develop an industry around biomass. The impact of combustion efficiency and consumer access to retail stove systems on residential conversion are discussed.

Keywords: Wood energy, Alaska, fuel cost, energy demand, distillate fuel use, heating oil, bioenergy.

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Daniels, Jean M.; Paruszkiewicz, Michael D. 2016. Estimates of wood energy demand for residential use in Alaska: an update. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-928. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 32 p.

 


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