UWEX Using Wood Energy Webinar Series

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Cooperative Extension will be hosting a series of webinars this winter discussing how and why to consider using wood for energy. For more information, please read Scott Sanford’s press release below:

Contact: Scott Sanford, sasanford@wisc.edu, 608-262-5062

Wisconsin Refuels with Wood Energy webinar series scheduled for February – April

Madison, Wis. – Wood is an abundant resource in Wisconsin and can be used to replace fossil fuel that is imported into the state thus creating jobs and keeping money in Wisconsin. Businesses, schools, greenhouses and residences currently using LP gas, heating oil or electricity may be able to reduce their energy cost with the use of efficient wood burning appliances.

The Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET), a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service to promote the efficient use of wood energy for heating, processing and power, is hosting a series of educational webinars entitled “Wisconsin Refuels with Wood Energy” on the efficient use of wood energy.

The webinars are scheduled for Wednesdays at 1 p.m. from Feb. 18 through April 8. The webinars are free but registration is required.

Topics include:
· How Wood Energy Compares to Fossil Fuels;
· Wood Fuel Types and Combustion Appliances;
· Economics and Case Studies of Wood Combustion Systems;
· Feasibility Assessment Tools;
· Financing Options;
· Wood Fuel Supply and Distribution;
· Industrial Wood Heating and Power Systems
· Cluster Development and District Heating

The webinars will cover everything from a residential wood burning stove to an industrial combined heat and power applications. Businesses using propane, heating oil or electricity for heating, Educators, Economic Development Agents, Rural School District Facility Managers, Municipal Facility Managers, Heating Contractors, Home Owners are encouraged to participate in the webinars.

Go to wisconsinwoodenergy.org under the “Events and news” tab for a link to the registration.

This programming is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Forest Service to establish a Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET). The SWET aims to expand markets that convert woody biomass into energy, advance installation of commercially viable wood energy systems in public and private facilities, and support wildfire mitigation, forest restoration, urban wood utilization and other forest management goals that utilize Wisconsin woody biomass.

The Core SWET members include the USFS, Wisconsin SEO, UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UW-Extension, Sustainability Resources Institute, Renewable Resources Solutions, Marth Companies, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and Heating the Midwest. To learn more, please visit: wisconsinwoodenergy.org

University of Wisconsin Offers Six MOOCs

University of Wisconsin-Madison is going global this winter with six new MOOCs, not a cow moo with a cough, but Massive Open Online Courses. These are free, non-credit courses taught by UW-Madison faculty. To access the courses or read more about them, go to moocs.wisc.edu. The course schedule is as follows:

  • January 26 to February 22, The Land Ethic Reclaimed: Perceptive Hunting, Aldo Leopold and Conservation
  • February 23 to March 31, Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region
  • April 26 to May 23, Shakespeare in Community
  • June 21 to July 18, Energy and the Earth
  • September 30 to December 28, Forests and Humans: From the Midwest to Madagascar
  • November 9 to December 4, Climate Change Policy and Public Health

Resources for Wisconsin Farmers, Part II

The Wisconsin Farm Center, at the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection, offers a variety of services and resources for farmers.

  • Farm Mediation and Arbitration Program- contact the program or read the brochure. The Center has also produced a legal guide, available as a pdf document.
  • Rural Electric Power Services Program– farm re-wiring resources
  • Focus on Energy Program– funding for energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy installations. This includes commercial agribusiness, dairy and livestock farms, grain facilities, aquaculture facilities, and irrigation systems.
  • Financial Counseling offers more than budget worksheets and articles. To speak with a financial analyst, contact the main office at (608) 224-5012.
  • Employment Resources can help with an off-farm job search. They can provide assistance with a variety of job hunting tasks including identifying transferable skills, composing a resume, or finding training opportunities.