Jan. 27, 2010 – The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and
Communities has created a database of industrial and selected community-scale
users of wood to energy facilities across North America. The site, Wood2Energy,
is a searchable database open to anyone with interest in the state of wood to
energy conversion at a national, state/provincial, or local operating level.
According to the Oregon State University College of
Forestry, a staggering 55% of all wood harvested in the world is consumed as
fuel. For almost half of the world’s population, wood is the principal energy
source for cooking and heating. In contrast, wood accounts for about 3% of
total energy use in North America, with the greatest concentration of use being
by the forest industry, which leads all sectors in supplying a significant
portion of its own energy needs.
“The Wood2Energy database provides the most
comprehensive and up-to-date information of its type,” says Endowment President
Carlton Owen. “Such information is vital to making sound planning and business
decisions to expand uses of wood for energy while protecting the long-term
sustainability of North America’s rich forested estate.”
Data accessible in the Wood2Energy system includes
renewable energy developed and used on-site as a byproduct of a primary
manufacturing process such as that produced by sawmills or pulp and paper mills
– the largest single producers of energy from woody biomass. It also includes
the growing number of facilities dedicated to the conversion of wood to energy.
Wood2Energy was developed by the University of
Tennessee’s Office of Bioenergy Programs, with funding from the U.S. Endowment
for Forestry and Communities, American Forest and Paper Association, Forest Products Association of
Canada, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and Natural Resources
Canada. Additional assistance was provided by the Sun Grant Initiative.
The system is being updated continuously to ensure
that it is as comprehensive as is practical. It presents information in both tabular
and map form. The system includes a means for individual facilities to update
their information to ensure that the most up-to-date data are available.