Intelligent Analysis, Operations Guidance, and
Strategic Leadership for the Pellet Sector
FutureMetrics has a unique skill set for providing detailed independent analysis. We combine broad and deep operational expertise, powerful sector focused financial modeling skills, and thought leading market awareness.
FutureMetrics’ expertise and experience across the pellet supply chain make it more than just a market intelligence consultancy.
Mitigating climate change is the foundation of our mission.
A new record high of 422.06 ppm was set on April 26, 2022.
Use the mouse to zoom into recent data on the chart.
Historic and Current Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations (and other data)
Data updated daily – The chart is interactive
Advice on all aspects of producing, transporting, and selling pellet fuel
Expert guidance and due diligence for potential investors, lenders, and project developers
Operations optimization for pellet plants
Strategic analysis and market research
Greenhouse gas mitigation strategies
New White Paper and Dashboard!
June 25, 2022
Excluding “roundwood” from use for bioenergy is misguided. Read why. The dashboard compliments the paper.
Dr. Strauss discusses the industrial wood pellet markets and how BECCS will result in carbon negative generation (~48 minutes)
Global Trade Flow Map shows where exporting nations’ pellets go and where importing nations’ pellets come from.
Open the map to see the tonnage that was exported from from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus in 2021 and is no longer entering the importing countries.
Click on the map image or HERE to open the Sankey map.
(June 25, 2022) - Do we really want to exclude all roundwood from being used to make pellet fuel?
There has been high-level discussion from some government policymakers in the EU about restricting the use of “roundwood” as feedstock for pellet fuel. While the spirit of the policymaking exercise is properly grounded as a tactic to disallow deforestation and encourage the most efficient use of a renewing resource, a blanket exclusion of “roundwood” is misguided. This white paper explains why. This white paper also discusses the dynamics of forest growth and carbon sequestration.
(April 21, 2022) - How High Inflation Might Impact the Industrial Wood Pellet Industry
This comprehensive 32-page white paper uses advanced simulation techniques to explore every part of the industrial wood pellet supply chain. The analysis shows how high inflation could impact the sector. The paper offers some thoughts on mitigating the negative impacts of high inflation.
(March 2, 2022) - Germany's Power Generation in 2022 and Beyond
This white paper discusses a biomass fuel strategy for the German power generation sector that has the potential to reduce dependence on imported natural gas, mitigate grid reliability risk, solidify baseload generation, and significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It is complimented by a new interactive dashboard.
(December 2, 2021) - The next wave of Japanese pellet fuel demand will be from the large utility power stations.
This white paper discusses how Japanese policy has set the foundation for the next wave of pellet fuel demand. It uses a real-world example based on recent announcements by J-Power and Enviva.
(October 14, 2021) - Will India become an importer of industrial wood pellets?
This brief white paper is motivated by a policy announcement in India on October 8 that mandates that 5% to 10% biomass pellets must be blended with coal by October 2022 in most of its coal fueled power stations.
This white paper quantifies the demand for biomass pellets based on the Indian coal fueled power generation fleet. It also offers an opinion on the potential for India to import wood pellets.
(September 9, 2021) - Enough Already with the Fallacy of Carbon Debt!
Even after years of explaining managed forest dynamics, the carbon debt misconception lives on.
To this day, and sometimes by academics with PhD’s after their names, the carbon debt fallacy is perpetuated. This white paper will explain why they get it wrong.
(July 26, 2021) - Why the industrial Pellet Fuel Sector should Work with the Wind and Solar Power Sectors
This white paper’s thesis is that the likelihood of evolving policy that supports continue growth in demand for pellet fuels might be significantly increased by focused efforts on cooperation between the pellet sector and the consortiums that advocate for wind power, solar power, and energy storage.
Cooperation in strategy and communications may yield a future in which government strategies and influential reporting will have a more complete view of how to get from today to a fully decarbonized power sector.
(July 5, 2021) - Pellets Version 2.0 will Lower the Barriers for Pellet Fuel as a Coal Substitute in Utility Power Stations
Version 1.0 of wood pellets, i.e., so-called “white” pellets, have been unchanged for decades. The promise of more advanced pellets has been around for at least two decades. So-called “black” pellets that do not lose their integrity when exposed to water, and have other characteristics that lower the barriers for adoption as a coal substitute, have not, to date, gained significant market share. This white paper discusses why and also shows how innovation may have opened the door, finally, to pellets version 2.0.
(May 3, 2021) - From Start to Finish - How to Subtract Carbon Dioxide from the Atmosphere and Produce Baseload Power
The idea of carbon capture and storage (CCS) used in conjunction with fossil fueled power generation is appealing. However, the best that CCS can achieve with fossil fuels is to approach CO2 neutrality. That is, they cycle carbon that has been sequestered over millions of years from out of the ground and then back into the ground. There is no net change in atmospheric CO2 as a result.
But we can do better. Carbon neutral is good, carbon negative is much better. This white paper envisions a future in which some of the existing coal fueled power stations are modified to use pellet fuel and capture and sequester the carbon dioxide produced from combustion. CO2 permanently removed from the atmosphere and renewable power are the result.
This paper is accompanied by a new dashboard. See below in the dashboard section. The dashboard is also directly linked from within the white paper.
(March 31, 2021) - What is the Lowest Cost Solution for Maximum Decarbonization of the Power Sector while Maintaining Grid Reliability?
If the goal of policy is to lower CO2 emissions in the power sector, the metric that should inform decision making should be based on the total investment and operating cost per avoided tonne of CO2.
This white paper will discuss this metric and will compare the analytics of two scenarios that provide on-demand dispatchable power: (1) Retire coal power plants and replace them with new natural gas combined cycle generating stations, and (2) modify existing pulverized coal power plants to use renewable industrial wood pellets as a substitute for coal.
(December 30, 2020) - Using Biomass Carbon Capture and Sequestration to achieve NEGATIVE carbon emissions
This short white paper and the accompanying dashboard show how combining the use of sustainably sourced wood pellets and carbon capture and sequestration in a power plant can achieve significant negative CO2 emissions. The paper shows why BCCS must be part of every decarbonization strategy.
(November 16, 2020) - A climate strategy for the Biden administration
The goal of attaining a carbon free electricity generation sector is necessary. But the path from today to that goal needs to be pragmatic. This white paper offers guidance for near and long-term solutions that the Biden administration can incorporate into their strategy.
Many more free papers are listed on the paper download page.
Calculate Return on Investment Metrics for a Pellet Factory
This dashboard allows the user to experiment with several of the critical cost and price inputs to a pellet factory financial model. See how sensitive the estimated cash flows are to mismatches between inflation rates and the annual offtake price adjuster.
Calculate the Change in Costs for a Power Station that Substitutes Pellets for Coal
Calculate the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) for new build power stations and converted pulverized coal power stations. Pellet fuel from zero (100% coal) to 100% pellets. Carbon benefits are measured in avoided tonnes per year of emissions. LCOE can be viewed in Dollars, Yen, and Euros. Also shows the impact of a carbon tax.
Analyze the pellet fuel cost buildup from wood supply to final use at the power station.
This dashboard allows the user to enter a variety of inputs that define the pellet fuel supply chain and see the impacts on the estimated cash flow of both the pellet producer and the utility end user.
How Pulverized Coal (PC) Utility Power Stations can become an Integral Part of a Strategy for Removing CO2 from the Atmosphere
This dashboard tells a story that begins with a working forest landscape that is used to sustainably produce building products, pulp and paper, and wood pellets. The pellets are used in a PC power station that both makes power and, via carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), subtracts CO2 from the atmosphere.
Pellet Supply Chain Carbon Footprint
Calculate the carbon footprint of delivered wood pellet fuel versus coal.
Japanese Minimum Efficiency Requirements for Power Plants
If a Japanese power plant’s efficiency is too low to comply with Japan’s minimum efficiency requirements for power stations, the power station can “increase” their efficiency by co-firing wood pellets. This dashboard calculate the annual tonnages of pellets that would be required to be in compliance.
What is a Japanese Power Plant’s Ability to Pay for Pellet Fuel?
This dashboard has many inputs for calculating the total cost of generation versus the total revenues from power sales (including feed-in-tariff sales from pellet generated power). It also shows the expected power plant margins over the 20-year span of the feed-in-tariff.
What is the lowest cost dispatchable solution for maximum decarbonization of the power sector?
This dashboard allows the user to compare the analytics of two scenarios that provide on-demand dispatchable power: (1) Retire coal power plants and replace them with new natural gas combined cycle generating stations, and (2) modify existing pulverized coal power plants to use renewable industrial wood pellets as a substitute for coal.
Biomass Carbon Capture and Sequestration (BECCS) Dashboard
This dashboard allows the user see the significant NEGATIVE net CO2 emissions achievable by combining CCS with the use of sustainably sourced wood pellet fuel in a coal power station converted to use wood pellets. There is a short white paper that has many details about the need for BECCS and the dashboard HERE.
Using Pellet Fuel in Selected German Utility Power Stations.
This dashboard allows the user to explore the results of substituting pellet fuel for coal in 13 different German power plants. The user can change many critical inputs and immediately view the impacts on cost and CO2 emissions. The dashboard has an embedded Google map that zeros in on the selected power plant.
South Korean Power Station’s Ability to Pay for Pellet Fuel
See how a South Korean power plant can make (or lose) money under the S. Korean RPS scheme. Experiment with many inputs to see the net of revenue minus total costs when cofiring or full firing wood pellets and using RECs to supplement (or not) cash flows.
What is the Payback for a New Pellet Central Heating System Compared to Heating Oil or Propane?
This dashboard includes information on US tax credits, state rebates, and thermal renewable energy certificates (T-RECs). Adjust the installed cost, fuel prices, and other critical inputs to see how many years it takes for the payback of the investment in a modern fully automated pellet fueled central heating system.
FutureMetrics’ Senior Team Members
Dr. Strauss has been named one of the most influential leaders in the biomass sector two years in a row in 2016 and 2017 by Argus Media. William Strauss is the recipient of the 2012 International Excellence in BioEnergy Award. In 2021 Dr. Strauss received the “Limitless Business Intelligence” award for his work in creating interactive online dashboards.
John Swaan, FutureMetrics’ operations expert, is the recipient of the 2014 International Founders Award. He is the founder of Pacific BioEnergy and producer of the first transatlantic shipment of wood pellets from North America to Europe (1998).
Hannah Campbell is FutureMetrics’ logistics specialist. Hannah brings a military background as an Air Force Academy graduate and logistics specialist as an officer in the Air Force to her work with FutureMetrics.