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Tuesday, August 3, 2010 - 10:41am

Bioenergy Conference Underway

Updated: 4 years ago.
Wood pellets used to produce energy (photo courtesy Timber Exchange)

Renewable energy experts are gathering in South Georgia to look at how growing trees and plants will grow new businesses in Georgia.

More than five-hundred energy producers, researchers and advocates are in Tifton for the 5th annual Southeast Bioenergy Conference.

UGA professor and conference organizer Craig Kvien says the state is poised to become a leader in producing renewable energy, and rural communities with large supplies of biomass will benefit.

“We’re about 24-25 million acres of trees. We’re another 5 or 6-million acres of cropland and right now as far as a biomass rich state I think we’re at the top or at least in the very top 1-2-3.”

Right now a German company is building a large wood pellet manufacturing facility in Waycross. The pellets will be shipped to Sweden where environmental laws are strict. Kvien says pellets are used very little in the U.S. because regulations aren’t nearly as tough.