Sixth Annual Forum: Considering the Net Environmental and Social Benefits of Biomass Energy


May 12-13, 2009
Sher Auditorium
California Environmental Protection Building
1001 I St.
Sacramento, CA


The California Biomass Collaborative held its sixth annual forum in Sacramento May 12-13, 2009 at the Byron Sher auditorium in the California Environmental Protection Building. The Collaborative’s sixth annual forum provided over 170 attendees with the opportunity to learn about and discuss innovative ways to enhance the net environmental and social benefits from new greenhouse gas and bioenergy policies.

The two-day forum covered: an overview of current policy and regulatory issues, current and potential biomass use for energy in California, and some suggestions for using the concept of net benefit to harmonize diverse environmental and social goals while advancing the objectives defined in the biomass roadmap; existing and potential barriers to the use of forest, agricultural, municipal, and other forms of biomass for energy in California and elsewhere; current or possible future incentives for the use of biomass resources; and how the idea of sustainability influences the determination of net environmental and social benefits from the use of biomass.

Program and Proceedings

May 12, 2009
May 13, 2009

May 12, 2009 (Day One)
Net Environmental Benefit: Policies and Regulation

Session, Speaker

  • Opening and Welcome: Forum logistics, agenda, and forum survey, Stephen Kaffka, California Biomass Collaborative – PDF
  • Keynote Speaker: The LCFS and Net Environmental and Social Benefits, Daniel Sperling, University of California, Davis, and California Air Resources Board – PDF
  • Keynote Speaker: The Status of Bioenergy Policy in California, Susan Brown, California Energy Commission


Session 1—Overview of Different Ideas About Net Environmental Benefit: Discussion of policies and projects

Session, Speaker

  • What is Meant by Net Environmental Benefit? Stephen Kaffka, California Biomass Collaborative – PDF
  • Biomass Energy’s Benefits, Jim Brainard, US DOE-National Renewable Energy Laboratory –PDF
  • State Policies, Drivers, and Impediments, Gerry Braun, California Energy Commission – PDF
  • The Status of Bioenergy Technology in California, Bryan Jenkins, University of California, Davis – PDF


Session 2—Barriers to the Use of Forest, Agricultural, and Municipal Biomass for Energy

Session, Speaker

  • Legal and Siting Barriers to Forest Biomass, Mark Nechodon, US Forest Service – PDF
  • Overcoming Barriers to Biomass Projects, Tom Christofk, Placer County APCD – PDF
  • Regulatory Barriers and Definition of Transformation of MSW, Coby Skye, Los Angeles County – PDF
  • Case Study: Dairy Digester, Nettie R. Drake, B&N Enterprises  – PDF
  • Utility Interconnections, Fred Skillman, Pacific Gas & Electric – PDF
  • Ethanol from MSW, Necy Sumait, Bluefire Ethanol – PDF
  • Case Study: Farm Residual Gasifier, Russ Lester, Dixon Ridge Farms – PDF
  • Panel Discussion and Public Input, Moderator: Fernando Berton, CIWMB
  • Wrap-up, Bryan Jenkins, University of California, Davis

May 13, 2009 (Day Two)
Incentives and Sustainability

Session, Speaker

  • Opening—Forum logistics & agenda: Stephen Kaffka, California Biomass Collaborative
  • Keynote Speaker: A.G. Kawamura, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture


Session 3—Incentives for Biomass Energy Use and Net Environmental Benefit

Session, Speaker

  • Carbon Cap and Trade Versus Carbon Tax, Gregg Morris, Future Resources – PDF
  • Market-Based Mechanisms, Chris Clavin, TSS Consultants – PDF
  • The Oil Industry and Carbon Sequestration Efforts, Giorgio Zoia, British Petroleum – PDF
  • The West Coast Biorefinery Project, Harrison Pettit, Pacific Ethanol – PDF
  • Case Study: Siting a Biofuel Facility in California, Rahul Iyer, Primafuel
  • Financing, Investment, and Permitting, Hanafi Fraval, Ag Biomass Alliance – PDF


Session 4 —Sustainable Use of Biomass for Energy and Net Environmental Benefit

Session, Speaker

  • Forestry Biomass and Net Environmental Benefit, Malcolm North, University of California, Berkeley – PDF
  • Waste Materials and Net Environmental Benefit: SB 1016, Howard Levenson, CIWMB – PDF
  • Conservation-Based Use of Forest Resources, Jocelyn Tutak, Conservation Biology Institute
  • Ethanol and Net Environmental Benefit, Doug Berven, POET Industries
  • Sustainability Standards, Certification, and Net Environmental Benefit, Matt Rudolph, Round Table on Sustainable Biofuels – PDF
  • Panel Discussion and Public Input, Moderator: Stephen Kaffka, California Biomass Collaborative
  • Wrap-up, Stephen Kaffka, California Biomass Collaborative