FutureMetrics is the leading consultancy in the wood pellet sector

FutureMetrics provides information, market analysis, operations guidance, and strategic advice to many of the world’s leading companies in the wood pellet sector.

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.

 

Multi-Client Studies –  See below.

Historic and Current Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations (and other data)
Data updated daily – The chart is interactive
 

A new record high of 421.36 ppm was set on April 8, 2021.

Use the mouse to zoom into recent data on the chart.

  • 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 Interactive Dashboard
(November 11, 2021):

Explore and analyze the cost build up of pellet fuel.

Dr. Strauss discusses the industrial wood pellet markets and how BECCS will result in carbon negative generation (~48 minutes)

 

Global Pellet Trade Sankey Map

FutureMetrics’ interactive map showing 2020’s international trade in wood pellets. Click on any exporting or importing country to see where their tonnes of pellets go or where they came from.

The map can be accessed for free HERE.

FutureMetrics’ Multi-Client Studies

Comprehensive Techno-Economic Descriptions and Analyses of Torrefaction Technologies.

Table of Contents, Lists of Figures and Tables HERE

Summary of the findings
plus bonus material about the global pellet markets HERE

Bonus – FutureMetrics report on steam exploded (SE) pellet technology bundled with this report at no extra cost.

Click HERE for more.

 

 

Japan Biomass Outlook:
Overview and analysis in the context of a changing power market

Click HERE for more.

FutureMetrics Analysis

FREE WHITE PAPERS

(Links to dashboards farther down the page)

(November 5, 2021) - A selection of charts and two innovations that will change the pellet sector.

FutureMetrics has bundled a selection of charts and tables that describe some of the pellet markets in a PowerPoint format.  The slide deck also highlights two innovations that will change the pellet sector.

(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.

(October 19, 2020) - A white paper about the future of power generation.

A new and important white paper on the future of power generation.  The paper shows how wind, solar, and energy storage have a very long way to go if we envision a 100% fossil fuel free generation sector.  The paper offers guidance for navigating that long transition.  Click on the button above to go to the free download page.

(September 25, 2020) - Climate change will drive new pellet demand! See a video of Dr. Strauss discussing this topic.

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada’s annual conference was online this year.  The complete comprehensive presentation about global pellet markets and how climate change will impact future growth is available to view.  Click on the “Download” button to access the link to the video.

(June 26, 2020) - A short white paper on the consequences of inaction in dealing with CO2 emissions and climate change:

This “call-to-action” white paper titled “Why the Future May Not Be What It Is Supposed to Be” offers a novel perspective on how increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere may lead to chaos (in a mathematical, ecological, social, and economic sense).

(May 6, 2020) - White paper: "How renewable solid fuel is an important component of the pathway to a more decarbonized future."

This white paper discusses the efficacy of using wood pellets for power generation and explains why the opponents of pellets for power use poorly crafted arguments based on faulty logic.  

Many more free papers are listed on the paper download page.

Interactive Dashboards

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.

Calculate How Much Wood is Needed to Supply a Pellet Factory

This dashboard allows the user to estimate the annual demand for pellet production feedstock and biomass dryer fuel.  It also estimates the annual wood costs.

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.

Valuation Dashboard

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.

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.

Valuation Dashboard

This comprehensive dashboard allows the user to work out the metrics for a sale or acquisition of an existing pellet factory.  The user can adjust many of the critical inputs to the valuation model.

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?

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).

Annette Bossler provides detailed market intelligence on renewable energy policies around the world with a strong focus on Japan.  Annette speaks fluent Japanese. She was the 2013 recipient of the President’s Award from the Maine International Trade Center.

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. 

Laurenz Schmidt provides rigorous analytic skills to FutureMetrics’ analyses of contemporary wood fiber conversion and densification processes.

Yoshinobu “Yoshi” Kusano provides analysis on Japanese policy and insights into the future of the Japanese markets for wood pellets.

FutureMetrics is a proud member of the President’s Circle of the Forest History Society