Low-Grade Markets, Oil Subsidies

Samuel J. Radcliffe SamR at GBandCO.com
Mon Jan 31 10:13:08 EST 2000

Does anyone know of a good recent analysis of the economics of burning
wood for industrial steam or cogen? Specifically, I would like to know
at what price points it makes sense to switch from wood to coal or
natural gas, taking into account any and all capital expenditures
required to make the switch.


Larry Caldwell wrote:
> In article <3893886D.6585C5E2 at daviesand.com>, karl at daviesand.com writes:
> > If we got rid of  all these subsidies, the retail cost of oil and gas
> > would go up by a minimum of $.30 per gallon.  If you figure the high
> > ends for all the costs, the retail cost of oil and gas would go up by
> > $1.50 per gallon.  Guess what happens when the costs of oil and gas go
> > up?  Right, people scramble for substitutes, including biomass, which
> > includes wood.  All of a sudden there are markets for low-grade
> > material.  All of a sudden there's no excuse for not practicing good
> > silviculture.  All of a sudden, the "utilization specialists" are out
> > looking for real jobs. <G>
> I have always been astonished that anyone heats their homes with fossil
> fuels.  The modern pellet stove is pollution free, over 90% efficient,
> and runs on renewable resources that don't contribute to additional
> atmospheric CO2 or global warming.  A minor modification would convert
> the fuel to pellet furnaces with all the convenience of central heat.
> That would give a great market for all the low grade wood products that
> are being burned in the woods right now, plus lots of paper products and
> other recycled wood that can't be turned back into useful products.
> -- Larry

Samuel J. Radcliffe
George Banzhaf & Company
225 East Michigan Street, Suite 210
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Voice:   414-276-2062        
Fax:     414-276-5206     
E-Mail:  SamR at GBandCO.com                  

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