Vermont schools the nation in woody biomass heating

Case Study

Published: 
Thursday, December 22, 2011

Summary

Discussions of renewable energy typically focus on technologies such as solar panels, wind power, and geothermal. In one state, however, a different conversation is taking shape—one that is focusing on refining an age-old source of renewable energy: wood.

Vermont has taken the lead in using residual material created during forest management (woody biomass) to heat schools and commercial buildings. Steven Bick's Case Study outlines the astonishing savings Vermont schools, public buildings, and private companies have incurred by using woody biomass for heat in comparison to oil, propane, electricity, and natural gas.

With its abundance of forests and sawmills, Vermont has long been the nation’s leading user of wood—or, more precisely, woody biomass—for heating. Other parts of the country are beginning to follow suit.

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Steven Bick was a Lone Mountain Fellow at PERC in 2006. As a consulting forester and researcher with Northeast Forests, LLC, he has provided forestry advice for the Brandreth properties since 1993.
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