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BTEC and RPG receive $70,000 grant

In the US, the US Forest Service's Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) has awarded a $70,000 (€52,000) grant to the Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) and Resource Professional Group (RPG).

BTEC and RPG have embarked on a joint venture to encourage energy cost savings and make commercial buildings more greenhouse gas saving. The project will educate building architects and biomass appliance manufacturers on wood energy.

The two companies will bring together heating and cooling (HVAC) design experts with biomass energy equipment manufacturers to address the issues that have for so long prevented biomass energy from penetrating the US market.

The project comes after the findings of a 2010 WERC-funded survey, 'Report of Key Findings: Architects and Energy Professionals – The Missing Link in Wood Energy'. According to the study, 80% of responding HVAC designers saw wood energy as a tool to advance America's environmental, economic and energy efficiency goals if their concerns about emissions, resource protection, system reliability and operational convenience can be satisfied.

'Those executives recognise that this work supports jobs that are vitally needed to wisely manage forest resources, reduce wildfire risk, and increase the market of clean burning, high-efficient biomass combustion equipment,' says Joseph Seymour, executive director of BTEC.

John Karakash, registered forester and energy consultant with RPG adds: 'As biomass energy grows, employment will expand in conservation and clean energy to convert low grade timber into renewable fuel. The end result will be lower cost to taxpayers for energy and for resource protection, greater independence from foreign energy sources, and reduced fossil carbon emissions.'