I just returned from the Heating the Midwest conference – a spinoff of the annual Northeast Biomass Heating Expo – where I learned that sharing lessons learned and the progress made in the Northeast can prove helpful to other regions. I was particularly struck by how the Northern Forest states’ investment in modern wood heat – through both demand- and supply-side incentives and other supportive policies – has been essential for market development.

The conference took place in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where I delivered the keynote. Not only did I meet a lot of terrific wood heat advocates from the upper Midwest (my home region!) I was inspired that Midwestern states were looking to the Northern Forest region as a model. You have all worked hard advocating for policies in state legislatures and the federal government that advance the wood heat industry.  We’re hopeful that the upper Midwestern states will make a similar commitment; until then, we’re looking forward to seeing our compatriots there continue to work diligently for modern wood heat and hoping that the experiences we shared from the Northern Forest give them some new ideas and inspiration about how to do so. Learn more about Heating the Midwest.