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.

  • Advice on all aspects of producing, transporting, and selling pellets

  • Operations optimization and operator training for pellet plants

  • Strategic analysis and market research

  • Expert guidance and due diligence for potential investors and project developers

Download a summary of our team and a list of recent projects and clients .

FutureMetrics provides the startup operator training for Prodesa‘s new pellet mills.

FutureMetrics has an agreement with the world’s leading engineering firm for power plant modifications and conversions from coal to wood pellets to offer expert advice.

FutureMetrics research reports and subscriptions.

FutureMetrics North American Pellet Quarterly Report, Quarter 3, is available (October  2018).
First quarter 2018 issue is free to download HERE.  Subscribe by clicking on the image below. 

A summary of our research on steam exploded pellet technology can be downloaded HERE.

FutureMetrics Analysis


NEW (October 29, 2018) - New white paper - "Coal Power Stations that Convert to Wood Pellets Supply Reliable On-Demand Baseload and Peaking Power"

This very brief white paper illustrates why all countries, states, or provinces that are serious about lowering carbon emissions in the power generation sector should include the use of pellets as a replacement for coal in their portfolio for renewable generation.

This short paper shows a real-world example of how pulverized coal power stations modified to use pellet fuel are part of the solution for lowering CO2 emissions and fighting climate change.

NEW (October 1, 2018) - New free white paper - "Forecasting Industrial Wood Pellet Prices - A new model for calculating future prices"

FutureMetrics has developed a comprehensive model for estimating the cost of producing and transporting wood pellets from all major producing regions to the foreign ports of major industrial end users.  Our model provides valuable insight into the future costs and prices for industrial wood pellets and the potential cash flow risks associated with the uncertainty of those costs.  It is important to analyze pellet supply chain cash flows and costs to better understand the price dynamics in long-term offtake agreements.  FutureMetrics’ model provides insight into the components of the total cost of industrial wood pellets delivered to a foreign port.  It offers information that is crucial to due diligence by pellet producers, buyers, traders, suppliers, and financial stakeholders in the wood pellet industry.

(July 8, 2018) - Free white paper - Vietnam Wood Pellet Exports - Rapid growth and low prices. Can it last? What is the Future?

This brief white paper explores the Vietnam pellet export sector.   With growth in pellet exports from Vietnam going from nearly zero to about 2.75 million metric tonnes per year over seven years, the obvious questions are:  What are the limits to growth for that country and what will be the future costs, and thus future prices, for pellets produced in Vietnam and shipped to South Korea and Japan?

(April 30, 2018) - Free white paper - A Perspective on Solar Energy Storage

This white paper describes how the solar energy captured by plants and converted into, and stored as energy rich carbohydrates should be part of how we achieve a reliable and economically feasible transition to a decarbonized future.

(January 31, 2018) - Free white paper - Weather, Heating Oil Prices, and Wood Pellet Sales

This brief white paper shows how weather (heating degree days) and the price of heating oil influence demand for wood pellets for heating.  The paper also looks at actual pellet prices in several selected states.

(December 4, 2017) - A white paper by FutureMetrics's operations expert John Swaan, "Best Practices for Fighting and Preventing a Fire in a Wood Pellet Storage Dome or Silo."

This white paper is about fires in wood pellet storage systems and the lessons learned from several decades of experience.  The author of this paper has over four decades of hands-on experience with wood pellet manufacturing.  The experience and wisdom that he and others have gained is the basis for the best practices that are described in the white paper.

This white paper not only discusses best practice but also recounts how they were used to successfully resolve a major silo fire.  The silo fire was at the Pacific BioEnergy (PacBio) 350,000 tonne per year pellet plant in Prince George, BC* in August of 2017.  The tactics used to combat the fire resulted in a successful outcome.  This is in contrast to a long history of silo and dome fires resulting in the complete loss of the structures, major damage to the surrounding infrastructure, and injury and loss of life.

*The original pellet mill of the company that became Pacific BioEnergy in Prince George, BC was built by the author of this white paper, John Swaan, in 1994.

(September 16, 2017) - An important component of the pathway to a more decarbonized future: Wood pellets as a substitute for coal in power generation.

This short paper discusses a renewable biomass-based strategy for the power sector that is good for the environment and offers a low-cost method of reducing CO2 while providing essential baseload power to the grid.  The strategy is not based on complex chemistry to produce liquid fuel from biomass.  The strategy is based on a proven process for upgrading wood into a densified and durable solid fuel that is suitable for use in large utility power boilers that are based on pulverized coal fuel systems.

(May 11, 2017) Why the South Korean Utilities May Never Engage in Long-term Offtake Agreements for Industrial Wood Pellets
Demand for industrial wood pellets in S. Korea has grown rapidly in recent years and is expected to grow significantly over the next half decade.  This brief white paper discusses why that growth is happening and is expected to continue.  The paper also discusses the risks associated with the S. Korean RPS scheme and shows why the short-term tendering strategy that is used by S. Korean utilities for securing wood pellet fuel may remain in use for the foreseeable future despite the challenges that the absence of long-term agreements place on the supply side.

(March 20, 2017) Micro-Scale Pellet-Fueled Combined Heat and Power
Generating electricity at the micro level with renewable low carbon wood pellets can be part of a distributed power smart grid architecture that can complement small-scale solar, small-scale battery storage, and the growth in the use of electric vehicles.  The new micro-CHP and its potential benefits are described in detail.  The paper is complimented by a new dashboard.

(March 6, 2017) A critique of the Chatham House study.

The recently released paper by the Chatham House is a study that contains many inaccurate statements about the use of wood for energy.   Those statements are presented as facts (when they are not) or as uncontested conclusions (when they are erroneous).  This white paper focuses on the study’s discussions that pertain to the sourcing of raw materials for industrial wood pellets and why they got it wrong.

(January 12, 2016) White Paper on Pellet Plant Operations by John Swaan

FutureMetrics has a new White Paper by John Swaan that discusses the reasons why pellet plants do not perform as expected. Click on the link at the top of this column to download the paper.

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

Interactive Dashboards

UPDATED Power Plant Cost Calculator

Min-CHP Dashboard

Charging an Electric Vehicle with a Pellet Fueled Micro-CHP

Conversion from Coal to Pellets vs New Natural Gas Power Plant

Pellet Supply Chain
Cost & Margin (EBITDA)

Pellet Supply Chain Carbon Footprint

Payback for a New Pellet Boiler

Valuation Dashboard

Valuation Dashboard

Calculating Wood Needed for a Pellet Project

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.

John Swaan 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).

Valuation Dashboard

Seth is a leading researcher, analyst, and author in the wood pellet sector.  Has presented at dozens of conferences throughout the world.

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

Dr. Strauss speaking in London at the 2017 Argus Biomass Conference about key challenges and opportunities for the pellet industry in the coming years.