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America: The great exporter of wood pellets

Wood PelletsYou probably didn’t know that we are a huge exporter of wood pellets.  You know, that wood stove fuel made from waste like sawdust, shavings and chips.

While primarily used here in the U.S. as a residential heating fuel, wood pellets are also being exported to Europe as a source for commercial heating and power generation.  Last year, in fact, wood pellet exports nearly doubled, to 3.2 million short tons from 1.6 million short tons in 2012.

Many European countries are replacing coal with wood pellets for electricity generation and space heating.  One huge driver is the European Union’s 20-20-20 legislation in 2009 calling for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent, increasing renewables by 20 percent and improving energy efficiency by 20 percent, all by 2020.

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