Weather Forecast


Biomass conference set for April 15-17 in Minneapolis focuses on sustainability

The opening general session at the International Biomass '08 Conference and Trade Show, to be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, April 15-17, will feature a biofuels sustainability panel titled Biofuels, Sustainability, and Carbon: Getting It Right, setting the theme of sustainability for the conference.

The panel will be made up of three of the most highly cited environmental scientists and analysts in the world, including Lee Lynd, professor of engineering and adjunct professor of biology, Dartmouth College; David Tilman, Regent's professor and plant ecologist, University of Minnesota; and Nathanael Greene, senior policy analyst and environmental advocate, Natural Resource Defense Council.

"Whereas some recent analyses of biofuels have focused largely on how we might 'get it wrong' with respect to sustainability and carbon emissions, this panel will focus on strategies to 'get it right,'" said Lynd. "Perspectives will be offered on paths forward that reconcile sustainability objectives and the interests of the existing biofuels industry."

An international panel covering opportunities and challenges of biomass utilization in regions of Asia, Europe, North America, and South America will conclude the opening general session, followed by sessions on new technologies, government policies, alternative feedstocks, and financing as related to the biomass industry.

The second-day general session will highlight the latest information on climate science and policy and look at opportunities for biomass energy as part of the solution. Featured presentations will include "Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Business Reactions," presented by J. Drake Hamilton, science policy director, Fresh Energy; "Improving Energy Sustainability of Communities with Biomass," presented by Art Wiselogel, manager, Community Initiative to Improve Energy Sustainability, BBI International; and "The U.S. Voluntary Carbon Market: Risk and Opportunity for Biomass and Waste Energy Project Developers," presented by Andy Dvoracek, senior client manager, EcoSecurities.

"Reductions of greenhouse gas emissions will require an energy transformation at large scale," said Hamilton. "This session will highlight opportunities for biomass energy in that transformation."

Other conference attractions include a sold-out, world-class trade show featuring more than 90 exhibiting companies and two networking receptions and industry tours of the District Energy St. Paul Combined Heat and Power Plant and the Minnesota Renewable Energy Research and Demonstration Center.

The International Biomass '08 Conference & Trade Show is being developed through a partnership between BBI International, a global biomass service company, and the Energy & Environmental Research Center, one of the world's leading developers of cleaner, more efficient energy and environmental technologies.

Registration fees start at $695 a person and include an all-access pass to the general sessions, technical workshops, and trade show. Registration fees also include all conference materials, six meals, and three refreshment breaks. Industry tours will be offered on Tuesday, April 15, for $50 a person.