Interest in and use of biomass as a sustainable supply of energy have grown dramatically in the US, Canada, and Europe during the past five years. More energy firms, government and provincial agencies, and industrial landowners are exploring the potential for biomass produced from North American timberlands to reduce coal, electric, and petroleum consumption, and its environmental impact, and to support the growth of domestic energy.
Assessing the resource—its availability, optimal locations, and pricing—is the critical first step to developing and realizing biomass potential in a region. To support clients in their decision making, Sewall prepares biomass resource studies on properties throughout North America. Bringing expert knowledge of the forest and forest products industry, Sewall professional staff provide:
- Estimates on raw material availability, based on current harvest numbers and inventory data
- Logging and forest products industry infrastructure within the procurement study area
- Estimates of biomass waste from the forest products industry
- Historical wood supply and demand
- Price information for similar or competing products
- Delivered cost estimates for biomass
- GIS technology is applied to enhance modelling techniques in research analysis along with building custom applications to meet specific needs of clients such as cost analysis, facility locations, transport routes and more
Sewall’s sources of information include US Forest Service and provincial inventory data, timber products output data, in-house and regional contractor data, and interviews with representatives of the biomass and forest products industries and the logging community.
Once the first step of the assessment is completed, Sewall engineers assist clients with site location fatal flaw analyses, design, and permitting for the development of biomass facilities and systems.