The World Sustainable Energy Days 2010 started with the European Pellet Conference, held from 3 - 4 March. Experts from all over the world discussed current and future pellet market trends as well as technical innovations.
The Pellet Conference was opened by Rudi Anschober, Regional Minister for Environment & Energy in Upper Austria, Gerhard Dell, the Energy Commissioner of Upper Austria and Managing Director of O.Ö. Energiesparverband, and Paul Rübig, Member of the European Parliament. Emese Kottász of the European Commission gave an overview of the European policies for biomass, followed by the importance of standards presented by Walter Haslinger, Bioenergy 2020+. Eija Alakangas from VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland, introduced the new European Pellet Standards and Martijn van Vis, Biomass Technology Group, presented sustainability criteria for solid biomass production.
A round table with representatives of pellet or pellet equipment companies and their associations respectively, as well as of research and public institutions highlighted "key issues for the pellet market development“, such as sustainability, security of supply, customer focus and international trade. Participants of the round table were Richard Sikkema, University of Utrecht, Christiane Egger, O.Ö. Energiesparverband, Patrick de Jamblinne, Tuzetka Ukraine, Bengt-Erik Löfgren, ÄFAB, Sweden, Jill Stuckey, Georgia Center of Innovation for Energy, USA, and Beate Schmidt, Deutscher Energieholz- und Pellet-Verband, Germany.
In the afternoon, the pellet conference continued with the session "Resources and Technologies". Claudia Kirsten, Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum, presented experiences and chances of miscanthus pellets, followed by pellets from cork residues and shrubs by Joao Monney Paiva, DEMGI - Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal. Wolfgang Stelte, Technical University of Denmark, provided information on pelletising properties of different types of biomass. Further presentations were on the advantages and challenges of torrefied pellets by Robin Post van der Burg, Topell, The Netherlands and on the development of low-dust biomass boilers by Ingwald Obernberger, BIOS Bioenergiesysteme, Austria.
The session "Markets and Logistics" started with the presentation of local pellet production capacities by George Stammers of CO2 Sense Yorkshire. The presentation by Morten Neraas of Green Circle Bio Energy in Florida showcased the world's largest wood pellet plant. The session continued with financial issues - Rudi Maier of Südwärme, Germany, spoke about "Contracting to successfully finance and operate larger pellet heating systems" and Matti Sihvonen, FOEX, Finland, about "Price indices for wood pellets".
The first day of the pellet conference was concluded by short presentations, "project flashes". Radmilo Savic, JKP Beogradske elektrane, Serbia, started with the project "substituting coal by biomass in the district heating system of Belgrade", followed by Duncan Kerridge, Dulas, UK, showing a wood pellet ESCO in Wales and Stefano Tavolo, Turboden, Italy, who presented operational results of an ORC installation at a pellet production plant.
On March 4, the pellet workshop offered an overview of the current trends on European and international pellet markets with speakers from Sweden: Karin Haara, Svebio; Finland: Lauri Sikanen, University of Joensuu; France: Hugues de Cherisey, Syndicat National des Producteurs de Granulés de Bois; Austria: Christian Rakos, proPellets; Germany: Beate Schmidt, Deutscher Energieholz- und Pellet-Verband; Italy: Annalisa Paniz, Associazione Italiana Energie Agroforestali; Spain: Francisco Puente Salve, ESCAN; Hungary: Emese Burján, Magyar Pellet Egyesület; USA: Albrecht von Sydow, Biomass Thermal Energy Council and Russia: Olga S. Rakitova, The Bioenergy International.