Forest Biomass Initiative to take next step: Aviation biofuel
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Forest Biomass Initiative to take next step: Aviation biofuel 
 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
                                                                                                         
January 11, 2011

Forest Biomass Initiative to take next step: Aviation biofuel
Goldmark to request ‘phase two’ legislation to create next generation renewable energy

OLYMPIA – Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark today announced his proposal for legislation establishing a Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forest biomass pilot project that would create jet fuel from wood waste. Goldmark made the announcement during his keynote address to the Pacific West Biomass Conference in Seattle.

“Aviation biofuel is a product that can provide a renewable, locally grown energy source combining Washington’s forestry heritage and our technology future,” said Goldmark. “The Forest Biomass Initiative has a unique opportunity to help new, efficient technologies get to the marketplace in a pragmatic and sustainable way. Finding a higher use for residual forest biomass will help maintain our working lands that provide so many other benefits to the public, like habitat and clean water.”

“Forest biomass represents an incredible opportunity to heat our homes, power our cities and fight climate change,” said Governor Chris Gregoire. “Thanks to the hard work, groundbreaking research and leadership of so many, including Commissioner of Public Lands Goldmark, forest biomass may now fuel our airplanes. The opportunity to combine our cutting-edge aviation industry with the growing clean-energy industry will help create local jobs and show the world that we will continue to be a leader in the global economy.”

Goldmark’s executive request legislation would allow DNR to create a pilot program to generate aviation biofuel from wood waste and mill residue. The bill will also convene a stakeholder group to develop a strategy for moving a sustainable biofuel industry forward.

“We see this as move in the right direction, aligning Washington’s public and private sector that are emerging world leaders in this new sector,” said Dr. John Gardner, PhD., Washington State University Vice President of Advancement. “Washington State University stands ready to provide the critical research and development, as well as bring our broad network together already working on sustainable, next generation biofuels.”

Boeing, Port of Seattle and Washington State Department of Commerce are supportive of this effort which was borne out of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Northwest network, a diverse coalition of business, environmental and government entities who are developing recommendations to create an aviation biofuel industry.

“The aviation community is driven to find new and sustainable sources of fuel that can help meet growing demand while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and biomass offers significant opportunity,” said Jim Rekoske, vice president and general manager of renewable energy and chemicals for UOP, a Honeywell company. “The technology to convert this abundant resource into high-quality, drop-in biofuels is viable. It is this type of commitment that will help us make it a commercial reality.”

Forest Biomass Initiative Timeline

  • February 2009 – Goldmark launches Forest Biomass Initiative – press release
  • April 2009 – Legislature passes and Governor Gregoire signs bill – press release
  • January 2010 – Goldmark selects four pilot projects across the state – press release
  • January 2010 – Goldmark requests Forest Biomass long-term supply agreements bill requiring a supply study to ensure sustainable development of the industry – press release
  • March 2010 – Forest Biomass Supply Agreements bill becomes law – press release
  • July 2010 – U.S. Forest Service grants DNR $1M to conduct forest health treatments and all-lands forest biomass supply study – press release
  • December 2010 – DNR selects the University of Washington and TSS Consultants to conduct supply study expected to be completed in fall of 2011 – press release
  • December 2010 – DNR delivers report to Legislature on status of pilot projects – press release & report
  • January 2011 – Goldmark launches Phase 2 of the Forest Biomass Initiative focusing on aviation biofuels

For more information on forest biomass and the Forest Biomass Initiative, visit DNR’s website.

Media Contact: Bryan Flint, Director of Communications & Outreach, 360-902-1023, bryan.flint@dnr.wa.gov  

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