Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Down to Bio-Business in Scotland

Rural businesses are set to discover how they can benefit from using or supplying biomass fuel thanks to a free workshop later this month.

Forestry Commission Scotland is hosting the free workshop at Gartmore House near Aberfoyle, on Wednesday, August 19 from 12.45-3.20pm (lunch is provided) with a site visit following on at the end of the afternoon.

Guest speakers will give delegates an insight into the many aspects of biomass – from its potential to be a cost-effective means of generating power for business premises of all sizes to the practicalities of installing a woodfuel boiler. There will also be opportunities to find out about the grant support that is available. _StirlingObserver_via_Bioenergy
Similar seminars have been held across North America over the past two years, as rural parts of North America, the UK, and Scandinavia begin to gear up to produce bioenergy on a local and regional level.

The single region with the most bioenergy promise is SubSaharan Africa, followed by South America, and South / Southeast Asia. But infrastructure of business, technology, and economics in North America, Europe, and Oceania is far advanced over the third world. Investors who are not into gambling will be more likely to invest in a developed country.

Once it becomes obvious that farmers, foresters, ranchers, entrepreneurs, engineers, and technologists can grow their own bioenergy gold in rural parts of the first world, the gold rush will be on. Scaling up biomass energy to supply a significant part of the first world's energy needs, will take time and work.

Given the susceptibility of energy industries to the global and national economic stresses, a certain amount of risk will be involved. But growing healthy economies on the local and regional scale is how the US and Canada grew so wealthy so quickly in the 1800s. Biomass energy suits a local and regional infrastructure.

Small to medium scale distributed pyrolysis and gasification plants -- close to the biomass harvest sites -- will supply liquids, densified solids, and gaseous fuels to more central refineries and processing plants.

It is true that most of the profits of any operation will accrue to the central refiner and distributor, but the total economic activity at the local and regional levels are likely to be huge.



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