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Posted By BrotherBart,
Jun 21, 2008 at 2:33 PM
All kinds of progressive ideas up here in the Northeast. I guess the more demand there is for pellets, the better for everyone. Over time, it should smooth out the supply/demand equation and create an incentive to build new pellet plants.
HAAAAAAAAAAAA!! Love this part....." The pellets are a renewable, abundant, home-grown resource, lessening the impact on our environment,” he said. Typical tree hugger statement. Abundant????? where?
That's an interesting point. Like crude oil, people assume that if there's lots of it, supplies of the refined product should be abundant as well. But pellet mills are like oil refineries--if you can't produce enough product to meet demand, an abundance of raw material doesn't do you much good.
Of course, it beats having plenty of refining capacity and a shortage of raw material. Presumably the market will balance out eventually.
Before you guys start wringing your hands too much you should read a couple studies that have been made with regards to the production of fuel pellets.
One study out of Canada indicates that there are areas in both the US and Canada that have had historically low prices for hay and that these areas will see hay being used for fuel pellets. There are acres and acres of fields in Maine and elsewhere in the northeast right now growing nothing but golden rod or bushes. I can’t think of too many people that would not like to see this land put back into production. If people can make some real money haying these fields you can bet they will do it.
Another study says that if 25% of the people in the Maine convert to fuel pellets we will see a 6% increase in wood prices. That’s minor compared to oil.
Still another study talks about taking material out of the waste stream that can be burned cleanly and converting it into fuel pellets.
Before you get too worried I suggest you enjoy the benefits that all the money currently being sent overseas being put back into our local economies and see if its not all as bad as you think it will be.
And testing has shown high ash hay and grass pellets to burn for one to two hours before the ash piles up and puts out the fire in standard burn pot pellet stoves.
Whoa is us. :shut:
Prices and supply tell the story. I keep hearing about what could be, what may be done and what alternatives that are being researched and developed. None of that does me any good right now and I have seen promises before that go nowhere. I'm not "wringing my hands". I’m dealing in reality here and now. I started my look into pellet stoves less than six months ago. In that short amount of time I have seen supply of stoves go right down the tubes and the pellets increase in price in several places from 200 a ton six months ago to as high as 360 a ton now. More like 55% increase. Unfortunately everything and I mean everything depends on oil. Green is a nice dream.
You are also looking at a young industry that is in transition. Short term you are completely right. The higher oil goes the sooner people will transition to other alternatives. To base your long term outlook on what will happen this winter is very short sighted.
All these pellet mills are not going into production because they think there may be a market here in the US. Europe has been burning large amounts for years. I understand the town of Eastport just gave a permit for a company to build three large pellet silos that will be able to load 150 ton on pellets per hour into ships. That sounds like a market to me.
So it’s pretty much guaranteed that a pellet mill will be able to sell pellets somewhere. It also looks like there will be a lot of pellets being produced in the future at least where I live and that sounds like competition to me. Right now a new mill will be opening in October about 15 miles from my home and I just got word that another closed saw mill about 3 miles from that is also going to convert to pellet production.
I do not know where you got your information on ash content of hay but I can tell you I cut hay and have been talking to a pellet mill owner about selling hay to them. He told me his engineers said they could do a mix using hay. The only problem so far is he would want a lot more than I can produce. I’m working on that problem. I’ll let his engineers work on the mix and ash content.
by the way , aubuchon is a customer of ours, guess this program will include a lot of our units
all of the biofuel stoves will burn grass pellets. more ash simply means more ash bucket deliveries to the lawn or garden.while there is a bit more maintenance (20-30 minutes a week)its still easier than lugging firewood.
remember this thread when making a decision about buying a stove and consider the multifuel option. most stoves that will burn any kind of pelletized fuel will normally run about $150 to $250 more than one for just wood pellets. it makes sense to be ready to burn whats available locally. the true savings are in the avoidence of paying huge amounts of money on freight.
each area of the country has its own form of energy that could be used for heat. the northeast and northwest has trees. pa nj w va ohio ny have good clean coal. plains states have grass and corn. the southern states all have the sun.
i have found that i can use small grains for my primary heat and these such as barley and rye can be grown anywhere on arable land.
i can grow and sell my grain this year and make more money than i would save by burning it. so its prolly wood pellets for me. but i have that option due to the multifuel capability of my stoves.
It's a shame I could not use the grass clippings from my lawn to convert to pellets. Now if a market existed for that we would be talking. Well, off to cut the lawn....again....and again....and again......
I ended up ordering an Englander 25-PDV from Home Depot. We talked to Aubuchon when they first announced the bank financing. The 8% financing is very attractive and Aubuchon a good company. I wanted to find agreeable financing so I did not have to pay cash all up front. All things being equal, we decided on HD mostly because it was just easier to order and get the financing we sought. HD had a 12 month 0% that we took advantage of that ended the middle of the month (it now is 6 months).
A note on Harman. I visited about 5-6 stove shops in the area (southern Maine). It seemed that Harman was the best out there. But I was turned off by the stove shops (except one) because I felt the stoves were over priced and discovered they wanted top dollar (retail +) plus $300 delivery charges plus some other crap. I came to realize that I will be best served if I service my own stove (I'm not concerned about this at all). England appears to have good service support and a couple of their people are on this excellent forum.
BTW, the one stove shop that I did get good vibes from told me Harman was backordered indefinately. He said he can't get any more and did not think one could be had until well into the heating season. So maybe if the oil market plunges I can find a Harman at bargain prices down the road. But I'm not sold on the Hs being more reliable either. I see heating oil remaining around $5.00/gal. for some time to come, maybe years. Then if Israel goes after the Iranian nuke sites, we may wish for the good old days of $5 oil.