2021 Biomass Thermal Summit


The Biomass Thermal Energy Council will host its 2021 Biomass Thermal Summit, a weekly event, beginning Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 1:00 PM EDT. This virtual event will feature six sessions on the state of the industry, latest federal policy developments from the US Congress, the Biden Administration and agencies. Over the past several years, BTEC has achieved a number of successes, including passage of the residential tax credit of the BTU Act and establishment of the Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovations Program.

From a policy makers’ perspective, the inclusion of biomass heating technologies in federal tax, natural resource, and energy policy aids in achieving air quality and environmental objectives. The purpose of this Summit is to continue the dialogue between the industry and federal policy makers on the role of wood heating as a decarbonization pathway for thermal energy.

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council (BTEC) invites industry, environmental and policy stakeholders to this multi-day virtual experience to discuss the contribution that the biomass thermal energy industry can make to mitigate climate change and to discuss policy and regulatory solutions to expand the industry’s beneficial impacts, create new markets for woody biomass resources, and the environmental benefits of a closed-loop forestry and agricultural industry.

Silver Sponsors

Founding Sponsors


The 2021 Biomass Thermal Summit will be a weekly event, occurring every Thursday at 1:00 PM EDT, from May 6 to June 10, 2021. 

Thursday | May 6, 2021 | 1:00 PM EDT

  • Overview of the Biomass Thermal Industry in 2021

Recording >>

Presentation Slides >>

Biomass heating represents a small, regionalized sector of the broader forest products industry that can play a greater role in managing byproduct residues from saw and lumber mills, as well as a pathway for thinnings from forest management treatment activities. What is the state of this sector as the Biden Administration looks to act on climate change? How can biomass heating sustainably manage low-value wood streams and provide a pathway for a product most view as waste?


  • Moderator: Peter Thompson, Deputy Director, Biomass Thermal Energy Council
  • Jeremy Mortl, President, Messersmith Manufacturing; President, Heat the Midwest
  • Dylan Kruse, Policy Director, Sustainable Northwest
  • Adam Sherman, Manager, Biomass Energy Resource Center at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation

Thursday | May 13, 2021 | 1:00 PM EDT

  •  The Environmental and Carbon Benefits of Biomass Energy

Recording >>

Presentation Slides >>

Forests across the country are facing increased threats from insect infestation, drought, development pressure and neglectful management practices. Improving forest health through sustainable management and reducing hazardous fuel loads will improve environmental outcomes, reduce the risk of wildfires and provide economic opportunities for forest communities. How can government, industry and environmental stakeholders detoxify the debate around forest-derived energy? What features of biomass heating compel support for the solution?


  • Keynote Presentation: Robert Malmsheimer, PhD, JD, Associate Chair, and Professor of Forest Policy and Law, The Department of Sustainable Resources Management
  • Moderator: Daniel Bresette, Executive Director, Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)
  • Ben Larson, Forest Conservation Director, Ruffed Grouse Society
  • David Publicover, Senior Staff Scientist/Assistant Director of Research, Appalachian Mountain Club
  • Sheri Smith, Regional Entomologist, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region

Thursday | May 20, 2021 | 1:00 PM EDT

  • Expansion of Wood Heating Tax Credits to Commercial Applications

Recording >> Presentation Slides >>

Commercial-scale biomass heating systems have a high initial capital cost but offer a long-term renewable heating solution that uses a local resource. Other renewable energy industries, like solar and wind power, have seen a rapid expansion of production and deployment due to comprehensive public policies in the form of investment and production tax credits. How can the tax code be reformed to overcome the capital barriers of biomass heating systems?


  • Moderator: Charlie Niebling, Principal & Partner, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions
  • Mark Froling, President, Froling Energy
  • Andrew Haden, President, Wisewood Energy

Thursday | May 27, 2021 _ 1:00 PM EDT

  • Impact and potential of the Residential Wood Heating Tax Credit

Recording >> Presentation slides >>

The 26% tax credit for high efficiency wood and pellet heaters is expected to drive more sales of the more expensive and more efficient heaters. This panel will look at how well it will achieve its intended results, and how it may fall short. Should incentives be based on efficiency, instead of emissions, or be more targeted in other ways? Could this incentive be paired with a national change-out program?


  • Moderator: John Ackerly, President, Alliance for Green Heat
  • Mark Shmorhun, Technology Manager, Bioenergy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy
  • Les Otten, Maine Energy Systems
  • Kurt W.F. Rumens, President & General Manager, Travis Industries

Thursday | June 3, 2021 | 1:00 PM EDT

  • The Successes and Lessons from the Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovations Program

Recording >> Presentation slides >>

Forests provide communities immense economic, environmental, energy and cultural benefits. Balancing the long-term sustainability of forests will create vibrant and viable rural communities. The USDA Forest Service’s Community Wood Program offers a new grant program for communities across the country to invest in wood energy systems and innovative wood product facilities. What has the Forest Service learned from the first two years of the program’s existence? How can Congress work to improve and expand this promising rural economic development program?


  • Moderator: Julie Tucker, National Lead for Renewable Wood Energy, US Forest Service
  • Native Village of Kluti Kaah
  • Limington Lumber
  • Washington Department of Corrections

Thursday | June 17, 2021 | 1:00 PM EDT

  • Expansion of the EPA Renewable Fuel Standard to Thermal Energy and Wood Fuel

Recording >> Presentation Slides >>

The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard has jumpstarted the production of renewable fuels for the transportation and power sectors. However, thermal energy comprises nearly 33% of US energy demand, but has little to no pathways to participate in the RFS and decarbonize the thermal energy sector. How can the RFS be expanded to help decarbonize thermal energy? What are the greenhouse gas benefits of transitioning away from fossil heating fuels to renewable biomass heating fuels, like wood pellets and chips?


  • Moderator: Dan Wilson, Vice President, Wilson Engineering Services
  • Stefan Unnasch, LifeCycle Associates
  • Lucy Buchan, LifeCycle Associates
  • Carrie Annand, Executive Director, Biomass Power Association

Sponsorship Opportunities

The Biomass Thermal Energy Council seeks industry leader sponsorship to conduct the 2021 BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT. Multiples opportunities are available, with multiple benefits to elevate your organization’s exposure to policymakers. Please review and contact Peter Thompson to sponsor the Summit!

Co-host the Biomass Thermal Summit – $15,000

BTEC invites a co-host organization to make the Biomass Thermal Summit a success. The co-host will receive recognition alongside BTEC in all communications, event presentations and opportunity to shape the agenda and provide a keynote presentation.

Co-hosting will ensure the broadest possible leadership in creating and marketing this event to obtain industry-wide and government-wide results.


  • Logo appears alongside BTEC logo for all event communications;
  • Opportunity to shape agenda, speakers and presentations;
  • 1 Keynote Speaking slot on the agenda, if desired;
  • Recognition as a leader of the biomass energy industry to federal policymakers.

Industry Sponsors

Equipment manufacturers, fuel producers, project developers and supply chain organizations are invited to become an industry sponsor and elevate their brand to industry and policymakers as a leader in providing renewable, low-cost heat for communities across the country! Multiple levels of engagement are available for businesses!

Title Sponsor – $10,000

  • Speaking Opportunity
  • Logo in custom BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT banner for all BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT marketing
  • Additional large logo with company link in all BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT marketing
  • Large logo and top tier placement on BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT website
  • Sponsor discussion table with interactive top logo placement for networking in ALL 6 BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT sessions
  • Logo in all session introduction slides
  • Company specific question in End-of-Event survey to attendees

Gold Sponsor – $5,000

  • Speaking Opportunity
  • Sponsor discussion table with interactive top logo placement for networking at 4 BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT sessions of your choosing, subject to availability
  • Large logo with company link in all BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT marketing
  • Large logo on BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT website
  • Logo in all session introduction slides

Silver Sponsor – $2,500

  • Sponsor table with interactive logo placement at 2 BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT sessions of your choosing, subject to availability
  • Logo with company link in all BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT marketing
  • Logo on BIOMASS THERMAL SUMMIT website
  • Logo in all session introduction slides


Emanuel Wagner
Managing Director
202-596-3974 x 360