For the Record
Architecture and Design
The building of bigger and better timber buildings in Australia is on a roll! Many in the forest industry are aware of the recently completed and remarkable 10 storey Forte apartment building and The Library at the Dock built in Melbourne's Dockland precinct.
Architecture and Design reports that the new Netball 'Centre of Excellence' at Homebush has been built with large format laminated veneer lumbur beams. They also report that Sydney architects, Fitzpatrick and Partners, have now prepared a concept design for what could be the tallest timber commercial building in Australia, using glue laminated timber.
Click HERE to view article
Use of Wood Residues for Heating
The use of wood residues for heating by agencies from all levels of government has a great but largely unrealised potential in Tasmania and other cooler Australian regions. This escellent story from New Zealand was published in the weekly electronic forest industry newsletter 'WoodWeek' and it serves as an excellent reminder of what untapped potential there is to reap benefits in regional economic growth, employment and environment if we take this seriously.
PFT thanks John Stulen and WoodWeek (www.woodweek.com/dsp_subscribe.cfm) for permission to reproduce this story.
2014 European Pellet Conference
In late February 2014 a small group of Tasmanians attended the European Pellet Conference in Wels, Austria. One of the leading sources of up to date information in this area, Biomass Magazine reported on the concluding country-by-country market updates. The information provided by Annalisa Paniz, Italian Agriforestry Energy Association, is eye-catching from a Tasmanian perspective because we also use wood extensively for domestic heating:
[She] described an Italian pellet market with steadily growing demand, coinciding with decreasing pellet production. She reported that Italy is mainland Europe’s largest consumer of pellets, using over 3 million tons annually and growing between 200,000 and 300,000 tons each year. Strong residential pellet appliance sales in Italy have created strong demand, and Paniz estimates that there are nearly 2,000,000 pellet stoves and 200,000 pellet boilers installed in Italian homes. There are currently nearly 40 pellet producers in Italy, but Paniz reported that 90% of Italian pellet production is generated by about a dozen producers. Italian pellet production peaked in 2007 at nearly 750,000 tons but has fallen to about 300,000 tons since with domestic producers moving away from production and instead on the distribution of imported pellets. Austria and Germany are the largest suppliers of pellets to Italy, but bulk delivery of pellets by ship continues to increase and Paniz expects that at least 600,000 tons of pellets will arrive in Italy by ship in 2014. Italian ports, including Naples, are equipped with fines removal and bagging equipment.
Click HERE to view the 2014 European Pellet Conference Article
“In many European countries forest biomass is considered an important renewable energy source; its use has increased significantly in the last 10 years, it is politically supported by the public and all political parties and it is partly subsidised by governments. In contrast forest biomass use for energy is insignificant in Tasmania (as it is in the rest of Australia) and gets little political or public support although a significant amount of harvesting and processing residues are currently burnt in the open or dumped in landfills.”
“Coming from Europe with a limited availability of wood it is sometimes hard to understand how little economic and ecological advantage Tasmania is currently gaining from its large natural forest resource. It is also surprising that using forest biomass for energy gets so little political support despite its vast potential. It appears that the long ongoing conflict on harvesting in old-growth forests has consumed much of the social capital which would have been needed to develop a future forest industry and more effective use of renewable energies. Hopefully the ‘Tasmanian Forest Agreement‘ which virtually ends harvesting in oldgrowth forests is the starting point for a new era based on plantations and native forest regrowth. The development of a profitable and sustainable future forest industry based on these resources is challenging and will require significant commitment. The use of residues and low quality timber for energy could be an important part of this future industry.”
Prof Andreas Rothe, 2013
CLICK HERE to view 2013 Biomass Report - Current and potential use in Tasmania and a comparison with European experience - Prof Andreas Rothe
CLICK HERE to view 2015 Research Paper - Current and potential use of forest biomass for energy in Tasmania