With guidance and support from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina State University (NCSU) will reconvene the North Carolina Biomass Council (NCBC) and update the North Carolina Biomass Roadmap. The role envisioned for the Council is to facilitate bioenergy development in the state.
In 2005, the North Carolina Solar Center at NCSU (recently renamed the NC Clean Energy Technology Center) initiated the North Carolina Biomass Council as a diverse set of stakeholders who shared an interest in utilizing biomass for energy. A major accomplishment of the Council was the development and publication of North Carolina Biomass Roadmap in May 2007.
With recent shifts in local and global energy markets including the rapid emergence of an industrial wood pellet export industry, increased production of drop-in biofuels, policy-driven renewable energy goals, increased research on energy and the need for economic development in rural North Carolina, two NCSU groups: the NC Clean Energy Technology Center (NCCETC) and Extension Forestry propose to plan and lead the reemergence of the Council.
The operations of the Council should include: biannual meetings for the entire Council; convening of workgroups to focus on specific topics, and an update of the Biomass Roadmap for North Carolina.
Our primary goal is to create an opportunity for bioenergy industry stakeholders to meet and have a discussion on the current challenges and opportunities that exist in order to develop solutions that encourage growth in this emerging industry. The Council will also provide direction on updating a Biomass Roadmap to help guide the industry on resolving barriers and increasing growth based on the real economic opportunities within the sector.
The measurable outcomes of the Biomass Council activity will include participation of 100-150 industry stakeholders and evaluation form results from council meetings.
The measureable outcomes of the Biomass Roadmap will be increased rural economic development and job creation, and use of local rather than external energy sources. The Roadmap impact will depend on the implementation of recommended strategies.
NC State University, as a land-grant university in the State of North Carolina, has a mission that includes engagement with public and private partners. Both the NC Clean Energy Center and College of Natural Resources Extension Forestry have strong relationships with the stakeholders addressed in this proposal.
Bioenergy stakeholders outside of NC State who have an interest in the Biomass Council include experts from wide ranging backgrounds in feedstock production and harvesting, conversion technology, supply chain logistics, resource supply analysis, policy development, project engineering, education and outreach, environment technologies, community relations, and economic development.
The NC Biomass Council will form subcommittees that will contain stakeholders outside the lead organization who will work collaboratively to work on technical and policy issues. These stakeholders represent companies who have made investments in North Carolina and share common interests in market development.