Analysis of Potential Industrial Demands of Pinyon-Juniper Resources in Lincoln and White Pine Counties, 2006

Analysis of Potential Industrial Demands of Pinyon-Juniper Resources in Lincoln and White Pine Counties, 2006
TECHNICAL REPORT
UCED 2005/06-9
ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL INDUSTRIAL DEMANDS OF
PINYON-JUNIPER RESOURCES IN LINCOLN AND WHITE
PINE COUNTIES
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO
ANALYSIS OF POTENTIAL INDUSTRIAL DEMANDS OF PINYONJUNIPER RESOURCES IN LINCOLN AND WHITE PINE
COUNTIES
Elizabeth Fadali
Thomas R. Harris
Kynda Curtis
Robert Dick
and
Simona Balazs
Elizabeth Fadali is a Research Associate in the University Center for Economic Development in
the Department of Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and
Natural Resources at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Thomas R. Harris is a Professor in the Department of Resource Economics in the College of
Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources; State Extension Specialist in the College of
Cooperative Extension; and Director of the University Center for Economic Development at the
University of Nevada, Reno.
Kynda Curtis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Resource Economics in the College
of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources; and State Extension Specialist in the
College of Cooperative Extension at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Robert Dick is an Instructor in the Department of Economics in the College of Business
Administration at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Simona Balazs is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Department of Resource Economics in
the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources at the University of Nevada,
Reno.
January 4, 2006
UNIVERSITY
OF NEVADA
RENO
The University of Nevada, Reno is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis
of race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability, and in accordance with
university policy, sexual orientation, in any program or activity it operates. The University of Nevada employs only United
States citizens and aliens lawfully authorized to work in the United States.
This publication, Analysis of Potential Industrial Demands
of Pinyon-Juniper Resources in Lincoln and White Pine
Counties, was published by the University Center for Economic
Development in the Department of Resource Economics at the
University of Nevada, Reno. Funds for this publication were
provided by the Lincoln County Regional Development
Authority through funding provided by the Nevada Commission
on Economic Development through U.S. Forest Service Grant
02-26-12-NFP-03 and the United States Department of
Commerce Economic Development Administration under
University Centers Program contract #07-66-05359.
This
publication's
statements,
findings,
conclusions,
recommendations, and/or data represent solely the findings and
views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views
of the Lincoln County Regional Development Authority, Lincoln
County Commissioners, U.S. Department of Commerce, the
Economic Development Administration, University of Nevada,
Reno, or any reference sources used or quoted by this study.
Reference to research projects, programs, books, magazines, or
newspaper articles does not imply an endorsement or
recommendation by the authors unless otherwise stated.
Correspondence regarding this document should be sent to:
Thomas R. Harris, Director
University Center for Economic Development
University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Resource Economics
Mail Stop 204
Reno, Nevada 89557-0105
Phone: 775/784-6499
UCED
University of Nevada, Reno
Nevada Cooperative Extension
Department of Resource Economics
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................. 2
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................................ 3
LIST OF FIGURES .......................................................................................................... 4
CHAPTER I:INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................... 5
CHAPTER II:NATIONAL BIOMASS ENERGY TRENDS, RESULTS OF LOCAL
BUSINESS BIOMASS QUESTIONNIARE, AND CLUSTER ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT ............................................................................................................. 8
Introduction..................................................................................................................... 9
Biomass Energy in the United States.............................................................................. 9
Pinyon-Juniper Biomass Business Survey Results ....................................................... 18
How to Develop Competitive Cluster Action............................................................... 20
CHAPTER III:OVERVIEW OF LINCOLN AND WHITE PINE COUNTIES ...... 24
Introduction................................................................................................................... 25
Socio-Economic Data Overview of Lincoln County .................................................... 25
Socio-Economic Data Overview of White Pine County............................................... 36
Forecasted Population Growth in Lincoln and White Pine Counties ........................... 47
CHAPTER IV:POTENTIAL INDUSTRIAL DEMANDS FOR PINYON-JUNIPER
RESOURCES .................................................................................................................. 51
Potential Industrial Demands for Pinyon-Juniper Resources ....................................... 52
Alternative Industrial Demands for Pinyon-Juniper ..................................................... 52
Potential Demands for Biomass Energy in Lincoln and White Pine County ............... 56
Potential Demand for Biomass Heating at Public Buildings in Lincoln and White Pine
Counties ........................................................................................................................ 60
Emerging Technologies ................................................................................................ 68
Stewardship Contracts Program.................................................................................... 69
CHAPTER V:ESTIMATES OF AVAILABLE PINYON-JUNIPER HARVEST ... 74
Estimates of the Available Pinyon-Juniper Harvest ..................................................... 75
Available Volume ......................................................................................................... 77
Further Considerations.................................................................................................. 80
CHAPTER VI:SUMMARY AND SUGGESTED ACTIONS .................................... 84
Summary and Suggested Actions ................................................................................. 85
General Introduction, Survey Results, and Procedures to Form a Pinyon-Juniper
Economic Cluster.......................................................................................................... 85
Overview of Lincoln and White Pine Counties ............................................................ 89
Potential Industrial Demands for Pinyon-Juniper Resources ....................................... 91
Estimates of the Available Pinyon-Juniper Harvest ..................................................... 95
APPENDIX A: PINYON-JUNIPER BUSINESS SURVEY ....................................... 97
2
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. 2005 and 2010 Projected Average Fuel Prices, Mountain Region ..................... 15
Table 2. Proportionate Share Rank Familiarity of Pinyon-Juniper as a Wildfire Hazard
Issue .................................................................................................................................. 19
Table 3. Population Estimates by Community for Lincoln County, Nevada, 1996 and
2004................................................................................................................................... 26
Table 4. Population by Age and Proportionate Share of Population by Age for Lincoln
County, 1990 and 2000. .................................................................................................... 29
Table 5. Annual Labor Data for Lincoln County from 1999 to 2004............................... 29
Table 6. Nominal and Real Taxable Sales for Lincoln County, 1997 to 2004. ................ 31
Table 7. Personal Income by Economic Sector for the United States, State of Nevada, and
Lincoln County, 2003. ...................................................................................................... 32
Table 8. Federal, State and Local Government and Private Sector Lands in Lincoln
County, 2000..................................................................................................................... 35
Table 9. Population Estimates by Community for White Pine County, Nevada, 1996 and
2004................................................................................................................................... 37
Table 10. Population by Age and Proportionate Share of Population by Age for White
Pine County, 1990 and 2000............................................................................................. 40
Table 11. Annual Labor Data for White Pine County from 1999 to 2004. .................... 40
Table 12. Nominal and Real Taxable Sales for White Pine County, 1997 to 2004......... 42
Table 13. Personal Income by Economic Sector for the United States, State of Nevada,
and White Pine County, 2003. .......................................................................................... 43
Table 14. Federal, State and Local Government and Private Sector Lands in White Pine
County, 2000..................................................................................................................... 46
Table 15. Forecasted Population for the State of Nevada, Lincoln County, White Pine
County, and Clark County, 2005 to 2024 ......................................................................... 48
Table 16. August 2005 and 2010 Projected Average Electricity Prices, Mountain Region
........................................................................................................................................... 57
Table 17. Potential Wood Heating Energy Demand in Selected Public Facilities in White
Pine and Lincoln Counties. ............................................................................................... 67
Table 18. GAP Classification Categories ......................................................................... 76
Table 19. Pinyon-Juniper Coverage in Lincoln and White Pine Counties ....................... 78
Table 20. Estimates by Volume ........................................................................................ 79
Table 21. Estimates by Weight ......................................................................................... 79
3
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. United States Wood Energy Consumption by End Use, 2004 .......................... 10
Figure 2. U.S. Total and Renewable Energy Production and Consumption, 1949 to 2004
........................................................................................................................................... 11
Figure 3. U.S. Biomass Energy Production ...................................................................... 11
Figure 4. Biomass Energy as a Percentage of Total U. S. Energy Production, 1949 to
2004................................................................................................................................... 12
Figure 5. Total U.S. Wood Energy Production................................................................. 13
Figure 6. Comparison of Nominal Direct Fuel Costs in the United States, 1970 - 2001 . 14
Figure 7. Energy Use Projections for Production, Consumption and Renewable Energy,
2002 to 2025 ..................................................................................................................... 17
Figure 8. Energy Use Projections for Production, Consumption and Renewable Energy,
High Oil Price Scenario, 2002 to 2025 ............................................................................. 17
Figure 9. Proportionate Share of Answered Questionnaires by Economic Sector. .......... 18
Figure 10. Lincoln County, Nevada Cities and Travel Distances..................................... 27
Figure 11. Lincoln County Nevada State Parks................................................................ 34
Figure 12. White Pine County, Nevada Cities and Travel Distances ............................... 38
Figure 13. White Pine County, Nevada National Park and Wildlife Refuge,
Wilderness/Wilderness Study Areas and Forest Service Lands ....................................... 45
Figure 14. Woodland Available in Eastern Nevada.......................................................... 81
4
CHAPTER I:
INTRODUCTION
5
Introduction
Lincoln County Regional Development Authority, through funding provided by
the Nevada Commission on Economic Development through U.S. Forest Service Grant
02-26-12-NFP-03, requested assistance of the University Center for Economic
Development which is funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration in
analyzing industrial demand for Lincoln County and White Pine County pinyon-juniper
resources to meet future industrial energy demands. The general purpose of this report is
to provide an overview of industrial energy demands and opportunities for industrial
utilization of pinyon-juniper derived from woodland thinning initiatives on public land in
Lincoln and White Pine counties. Specific objectives of this report are:
a.
Present an overview of past, current, and future biomass trends as well as
results of a biomass energy questionnaire of Lincoln and White Pine
counties; and background material for the formulation of a pinyon-juniper
biomass economic cluster.
b.
Produce an overview of socio-economic data trends in Lincoln and White
Pine counties and how pinyon-juniper may play a part in the local
economy,
c.
Present an analysis of potential energy industrial demands that may use
pinyon-juniper biomass derived from Lincoln and White Pine counties.
d.
Discuss the pinyon-juniper supplies in Lincoln and White Pine counties,
and
e.
Summarize presented data for later use in selected detailed pinyon-juniper
biomass feasibilities studies.
Results of this study could be used as a data source for detailed feasibility studies for
selected pinyon-juniper business developments in Lincoln and White Pine counties.
The study is divided into six chapters. The outline of these chapters is presented
below:
•
Chapter I provides a brief introduction to the study.
•
Chapter II discusses past, current, and future national biomass energy trends.
Chapter II, also, presents results of a Lincoln and White Pine counties industrial
survey pertaining to potential biomass use by local businesses. Finally, Chapter II
6
discusses cluster economic development and how a potential pinyon-juniper
biomass industrial cluster could be formed in Lincoln and White Pine counties.
•
Chapter III presents a socio-economic overview of Lincoln and White Pine
counties with forecasts of population growth. These forecasted values could
provide information as to future pinyon-juniper demands.
•
Chapter IV provides a detailed analysis of potential pinyon-juniper demands.
These potential demands could be used in a detailed feasibility study for a specific
pinyon-juniper enterprise.
•
Chapter V discusses potential available harvest supplies for pinyon-juniper in
Lincoln and White Pine counties. Supply analysis can be used later in a detailed
feasibility study.
•
Chapter VI covers conclusions and summarizes information presented in the
study. Also pinyon-juniper biomass opportunities are suggested. Detailed
feasibility studies of selected pinyon-juniper biomass business opportunities need
to be completed to assist Lincoln County Regional Economic Development
Authority to focus on potential successful pinyon-juniper biomass ventures.
7
CHAPTER II:
NATIONAL BIOMASS ENERGY TRENDS, RESULTS OF
LOCAL BUSINESS BIOMASS QUESTIONNIARE, AND
CLUSTER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
8
Introduction
Communities are searching for new and alternative economic development and
diversification strategies to promote local economic activity and stability. One potential
strategy for economic activity and stability is the industrial development of local pinyonjuniper biomass resources. This chapter discusses past, current, and future national
biomass energy trends. Also, this chapter will present results of a pinyon-juniper biomass
questionnaire of Lincoln and White Pine counties’ businesses. Additionally, the chapter
will discuss cluster economic development and how a potential biomass economic
development cluster could be formed for Lincoln and White Pine counties
Biomass Energy in the United States
Biomass may be used as a fuel for electric power generation, space heating,
cogeneration of heat and electricity, or for feedstock in the production of ethanol and
other liquid bio-fuels. In 2004, the amount of biomass energy used in the United States
was 2,845 trillion Btus or approximately 2.9% of total energy consumption in the United
States. Of the 2,845 trillion Btus, about 2,000 trillion Btus were supplied by wood
energy, with the remaining 845 trillion Btus supplied by non-wood biomass such as corn.
During 2003, close to 60% of energy supplied by wood biomass was obtained through
cogeneration technologies and used in pulp and paper industry operations. Although
biomass energy represented only a small proportion of the current total energy
consumption in the United States, biomass energy represented almost half of the total
renewable energy supply (Energy Information Administration, 2005, Haq, 2002).
Figure 1 shows consumption of wood energy in the United States by end use. In
2004, 73% of the energy produced from wood was used in industry, largely for
cogeneration at paper, pulp and lumber mills where the energy from wood residues
leftover from primary production processes can be used on-site. Residential use,
primarily for home heating, made up 17% of total wood energy use.
9
Figure 1. United States Wood Energy Consumption by End Use, 2004
U.S. Wood Energy Consumption by End Use, 2004
Residential
Commercial
Industrial
Electric Power
8%
17%
2%
73%
Source: Table 6, Renewable Energy Trends 2004, Highlights. (Energy Information Administration, 2005).
Historical Trends in Renewable Energy
From 1949 to 2004 total U.S. energy consumption rose 212% from 32.0 to 99.7
quadrillion Btu (see Figure 2). Over the same period, U.S. energy production rose by
122% from 31.7 to 70.4 quadrillion Btu. Consumption increased at a faster rate than
production. The growing gap between consumption and production was filled by
increased net energy imports. Total renewable energy production includes hydroelectric,
geothermal, solar, wind, wood and biomass and is equal to renewable energy
consumption. Renewable energy production rose by 106% over the same period from 3.0
to 6.1 quadrillion Btu.
10
Figure 2. U.S. Total and Renewable Energy Production and Consumption, 1949 to
2004
U.S. Energy Overview, 1949 - 2004
Quadrillion Btus
120
100
80
60
40
20
2003
2000
1997
1994
1991
1988
1985
1982
1979
1976
1973
1970
1967
1964
1961
1958
1955
1952
1949
0
Year
Production or Consumption of Renewable Energy
Total Production of Energy
Total Consumption of Energy
Source: Data from Energy Overview, (Energy Information Administration, 2005), UCED Chart, 2005
Figure 3. U.S. Biomass Energy Production
3.50
3.00
2.50
2.00
1.50
1.00
0.50
0.00
19
49
19
52
19
55
19
58
19
61
19
64
19
67
19
70
19
73
19
76
19
79
19
82
19
85
19
88
19
91
19
94
19
97
20
00
20
03
Quadrillion Btus
U.S. Biomass Energy Production
Year
Source: Data from Energy Overview, (Energy Information Administration, 2005), UCED Chart, 2005
11
In 1949, the United States produced 1.55 quadrillion Btus of biomass energy
(Figure 3). Levels of biomass energy production leveled off and even decreased until the
1970s when oil price shocks and changing regulation encouraged increased use of
biomass energy. The peak production year for biomass energy was in 1996 when 3.13
quadrillion Btus were produced. Since 1996 biomass energy use as a whole has declined
to 2.85 quadrillion Btu in 2004 (preliminary estimate). Decreased use of wood energy
was largely responsible for this decline (see Figure 5).
As seen in Figure 4, in 1949, biomass energy, including wood and waste
materials, made up almost 5% of total U.S. energy production. This decreased to a low in
1971 and 1972 of 2.3% of total energy production. After two oil shocks in the 1970s and
changes in energy regulations, biomass energy production increased to 4.4% of total
energy production in 1983. Since 1983 biomass energy production has fluctuated
between 3.7% to 4.4% of total energy production. Sharp rises in oil prices over the past
two years may again lead to a renewed interest in biomass energy production.
Figure 4. Biomass Energy as a Percentage of Total U. S. Energy Production, 1949 to
2004
Biomass as Percent U.S. Total Energy Production
6.0%
5.0%
4.0%
3.0%
2.0%
1.0%
2003
2000
1997
1994
1991
1988
1985
1982
1979
1976
1973
1970
1967
1964
1961
1958
1955
1952
1949
0.0%
Biomass as Percent Total Energy Production
Source: Energy Overview, (Energy Information Administration, 2005), UCED 2005 Calculations
12
Total wood energy production decreased nearly 25% from 1989 to 2004 from 2.5
to 2.0 quadrillion Btu (see Figure 5). Over the same period ethanol production, primarily
from corn, increased over 300% and energy production from non-wood biomass
increased by almost 60%. By 1995, half of the California biomass power industry shut
down as a cost reduction strategy, according to the Energy Information Administration
“Biomass Milestones”. Low prices for fossil fuels over much of the 1990s, reductions in
logging operations in some areas, the unwieldy and localized nature of some wood fuels,
electric market deregulation and many other factors may play a role in the reduced wood
energy production over the period (Morris, 2002).
Figure 5. Total U.S. Wood Energy Production
Total U.S. Wood Energy Production
Quadrillion Btu
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
19
89
19
90
19
91
19
92
19
93
19
94
19
95
19
96
19
97
19
98
19
99
20
00
20
01
20
02
20
0
20 3
04
P
0
Year
Energy Overview, Renewable Energy Trends, 2004, Highlights. Energy Information Administration, 2005
UCED calculations.
National Fuel Price Trends
Figure 6 compares the nominal direct price for a million Btu of energy for
different fuel sources from 1970 to 2001. As seen in the figure, wood competes with coal
as a low cost source of energy, particularly for electrical generation and industrial or
commercial use. Coal is abundant and more energy dense than wood. Wood is also
abundant, but is typically harvested over a larger acreage than coal. These factors tend to
13
increase the cost of harvesting and transporting wood fuels in relation to mining and
transporting coal. In addition, generating plants for producing electrical energy with
fossil fuels are usually less costly in terms of initial capital costs and operation and
maintenance. Exceptions occur where wood is already transported due to its demand for
other purposes such as lumber or paper pulp. In these cases, wood residues leftover from
primary production may be available at very low or even negative prices, since there may
be a disposal cost of the wood otherwise. Paper and lumber mills may use wood residue
from their production process to generate electrical energy and heat. This type of wood
energy use typically has already been exploited and represents the largest proportion of
wood energy use in the United States today. In a similar way, wood residues may also be
available at lower cost when collection and transportation of the wood residue serves
other socially desirable goals, such as the reduction of fire risks or increase in forest
health, as may be the case in Lincoln and White Pine counties in Nevada. In this case,
government entities such as the Bureau of Land Management may produce wood fuels as
a byproduct of these other goals. Supplies of wood residues in this case will depend on
government decision making processes. An additional market in which wood may
successfully compete is as a fuel to replace currently expensive natural gas, propane, or
oil for space heating.
Figure 6. Comparison of Nominal Direct Fuel Costs in the United States, 1970 - 2001
Nominal Dollars per Million
Btus
Direct Fuel Price, 1970 - 2001
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
1965
1970
1975
1980
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
Year
Coal
Natural Gas
Petroleum
Nuclear Fuel
Wood and Waste
Source: Energy Information Administration, "State Energy Data 2001: Prices and Expenditures" (January
2005), U.S. Table 1.
14
The environmental benefits of using biomass may lead to increased use in the
future. Because coal, as a competing energy source, will often be a lower cost option than
wood, demand for wood energy may be driven more by environmental considerations
and regulations than by factors such as higher prices for oil. Coal is a nonrenewable
resource that will eventually run out. Burning coal also produces many undesirable
emissions. In addition to being a renewable energy resource, environmental benefits of
biomass energy include lower sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide
emissions in comparison to coal. Carbon that is sequestered in wood while it is growing
is released when it is burned, but is considered not to add any net increase in carbon
dioxide emissions.1 Any regulations adopted that increase renewable energy portfolio
requirements for electricity generation will likely increase the demand for wood energy
and the prices paid for wood fuels. The state of Nevada currently has a renewable energy
portfolio law that requires that 20% of all electricity sales be derived from renewables by
the year 2015. These are some of the most ambitious goals in the nation regarding
renewable energy.
Regional Fuel Prices
Table 1. 2005 and 2010 Projected Average Fuel Prices, Mountain Region
Type of Fuel
Average Fuel Price
(2003 dollars per million Btu)
2005
2010 Projected
Coal
1.16
1.12
Natural Gas
6.21
4.74
Distillate Fuel
7.85
6.24
Residual Fuel
6.21
4.50
Biomass
1.06
0.90
Sources: NewGen Data and Analysis, RDI Consulting/FT Energy (Boulder, CO, August 2000) and EIA,
AEO2005 National Energy Modeling System run aeo2005.d102004a.
Region-wide, average prices for biomass as a fuel were projected to be about
$1.06 per million Btu and to decrease to 90 cents per million Btu by 2010 (see Table 1).
This implies an average price of about $19 per bone dry ton of wood chips used for fuel
1
Any fossil fuel energy used to process or transport the wood will add to carbon emissions however.
15
wood in 20052. Actual specific quotes reported were a contracted $35 to $45 per
delivered green ton in the case of the White Pine County School District to an estimated
average of $35 to $40 per delivered bone dry ton for the Sierra Pacific Industries woodfired electric plant in Loyalton, California (Carlton, 2005, Resource Concepts, 2004).
Minimum bid value being used currently by the BLM Ely Field Office is $25 per green
ton.
Projections of Future Biomass Energy Production
The Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy produces
projections of energy use and production by fuel type with the National Energy Modeling
System (NEMS). In Figures 7 and 8 two NEMS scenarios of future U.S. energy
consumption and production, as well as projected renewable energy production, are
displayed in chart format. The first scenario (Figure 7) represents the reference
projections while the second represents a case in which oil prices are assumed to be much
higher. The reference scenario projects energy consumption to increase by about 1.4% a
year to 133.2 quadrillion Btu in 2025. Energy production is projected to rise by about
0.7% a year to 82.7 quadrillion Btu with the shortfall in energy needs met by rising
imports. Renewable energy consumption, which is assumed to be equal to renewable
energy production, is forecast to rise about 1.5% per year at a slightly higher rate than
consumption is predicted to rise. Total renewable production in 2025 is predicted to be
8.1 quadrillion Btu. Under the high oil price scenario, consumption in 2025 is projected
to be lower at 131.5 quadrillion Btu. Under high oil prices, energy production would be
expected to increase at a faster rate of 1.1 percent to 91.8 quadrillion Btu. Renewable
energy production under a high oil price scenario is projected to be slightly higher by
2025, at about 8.3 quadrillion Btu.
2
The calculation is made using the conversion weight to energy equivalents heat value (100 percent
efficiency) of 9,000 Btu per pound of dry wood suggested in Ffolliott, P. F., and W. P. Clary. "PinyonJuniper Woodlands in the Southwest." University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources..
16
Figure 7. Energy Use Projections for Production, Consumption and Renewable
Energy, 2002 to 2025
U.S. Energy Projections, 2002 - 2025
Quadrillion Btus
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
20
24
20
22
20
20
20
18
20
16
20
14
20
12
20
10
20
08
20
06
20
04
20
02
0
Year
Total Production
Total Consumption
Renewable Energy Production = Consumption
Source: EIA, AEO2005 National Energy Modeling System run aeo2005.d102004a.
Figure 8. Energy Use Projections for Production, Consumption and Renewable
Energy, High Oil Price Scenario, 2002 to 2025
U.S. Energy Projections, High Oil Price Scenario, 2002 - 2025
Quadrillion Btus
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
20
24
20
22
20
20
20
18
20
16
20
14
20
12
20
10
20
08
20
06
20
04
20
02
0
Year
Total Production
Total Consumption
Renewable Energy Production = Consumption
Source: EIA, AEO2005 National Energy Modeling System run vhw2005.d120304a.
17
Pinyon-Juniper Biomass Business Survey Results
In the summer of 2005 and using survey procedures outlined by Dillman (2000),
businesses in Lincoln and White Pine Counties were surveyed as to their understanding
of wildfire hazards with pinyon-juniper and potential use of pinyon-juniper as an energy
resource. A copy of the business survey is shown in Appendix A. Approximately 150
businesses were sent questionnaires and out the 150 questionnaires, 24 questionnaires
were useable for analysis.
Figure 9. Proportionate Share of Answered Questionnaires by Economic Sector.
Industry Type
Other
Manufacturing
Construction
Utilities
Service
Commercial
Finance
Insurance
Real Estate
4%
4%
4%
4%
8%
51%
8%
8%
9%
From Figure 9, 51% of the respondents were from the “other” sector. No
responses were obtained from the government, agriculture, mining, transportation or
trade sector.
Of interest also, as given in Table 2, were answers to Question 7 on the business
survey which is shown in Appendix A. Question 7 finds the familiarity of respondents as
18
to pinyon-juniper woodlands wildfire issues. Respondents were asked to rank their
familiarity from 1 to 10, with a ranking of 10 being “not familiar at all with wildfire
issues” and a ranking of 1 being “very familiar” with wildfire issues. Approximately 42%
of the respondents replied that they were not familiar with wildfire issues concerning
pinyon-juniper. However, approximately 17% were very familiar with the wildfire issues
concerning pinyon-juniper. If one of the premises for pinyon-juniper harvesting is to
reduce combustible sources for rangeland fires, there seems to be a need for more
education. With sufficient education on the need for pinyon-juniper harvesting to reduce
wildfires, there may be potential to increase commercial and energy demand for pinyonjuniper resources.
Table 2. Proportionate Share Rank Familiarity of Pinyon-Juniper as a Wildfire
Hazard Issue
Scale Values on
Questionnaire
1 (very familiar)
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10 (not familiar at all)
Percentage of Respondents
16.67
4.17
4.17
4.17
8.33
0
8.33
8.33
4.17
41.67
Questionnaire results also showed that only 12.5% of respondents would consider
use of pinyon-juniper to produce their own electricity. However, with current energy
price increases, the positive response to use of alternative fuels such as pinyon-juniper
biomass may increase.
19
How to Develop Competitive Cluster Action
As an economic development alternative, pinyon-juniper harvesting falls within
the definition of industrial cluster economic development. Biomass industrial
development is an industrial cluster because pinyon-juniper biomass potentially has
numerous interlinked local economic sectors, such as housing, electric power plants,
industrial parks, and etc.
What are Clusters and Cluster-Based Economic Development?
Industry clusters have currently become popular as an avenue for economic
development with the publication of Porter’s book (1990). Porter has drawn together
elements of rejuvenated theories of economic development with elements of business
strategy.
Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies that work
closely with each other, local suppliers, infrastructure providers, educational institutions,
government agencies, and other relevant business groups. Cluster-development is based
on the premise that a company (and their regions) can realize higher levels of
competitiveness when it looks beyond its own limited capacity and strategically partners
with other companies to support institutions to address challenges and solve problems
that it is unable to solve when operating in isolation. It is a strategy that encourages
companies who compete to come together and identify ways in which they can cooperate
to their mutual benefit. Additionally, public sector entities such as the Lincoln County
Commissioners, the White Pine County Commissioners, the Lincoln County Regional
Development Authority, the White Pine Economic Diversification Council, the Nevada
Commission on Economic Development, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S.
Forest Service and higher education systems such as the University and Community
College Systems of Nevada can make themselves available to assist local clusters with
collaborative problem solving and solution identification. A successful cluster-based
economic development strategy with competitive cluster industries such as a pinyonjuniper biomass cluster would help Lincoln and White Pine counties to expand the
number of high-paying jobs, increase the rate of new business formation, and enhance the
innovative capacity for industries in the two county study area. Furthermore, and perhaps
20
most importantly, cluster-based economic development provides a platform for longterm, sustained, economic growth.
Cluster-based development begins with the premise that a geographic region
should identify a small number of economic sectors such as sectors within the pinyonjuniper biomass cluster to focus on a region’s economic development strategy. For
Lincoln and White Pine Counties, a firm in a competitive cluster is usually categorized
into two areas. One is the cross-cutting firm who provides critical support to the region’s
economic base (agriculture, mining, and tourism). The second firm classification focuses
on the productivity or delivery of a specific product or service.
How to Initiate Cluster Economic Development?
Having identified a competitive cluster, how does a cluster development get
organized and supported? Support for a cluster can be provided in many ways. First, a
cluster champion must be identified. This person would be a conduit for cluster activity.
The champion must have knowledge of the industry. Much of the cluster champion’s
time would be spent in the field, getting to know companies and government agencies,
identifying collaborative projects, and motivating relevant Lincoln and White Pine
counties’ stake holders. The cluster champion should also establish a forum through
which key personnel for companies can come together to learn about industry best
practices, and more importantly, to network with each other.
The champion is also the primary link to other clusters that may be identified in
Lincoln and White Pine counties. Therefore the second necessary activity for cluster
development and maintenance is networking. Networking is key for successful cluster
development. Networking is the process through which relationships are built, trust is
established, and new ideas are generated. A network could be developed by Lincoln and
White Pine counties. This network would focus on Lincoln and White Pine counties’
competitive clusters and how the proposed pinyon-juniper biomass cluster could interact
with clusters not only in Lincoln and White Pine counties but region-wide.
Why Focus on Clusters?
Clusters bring a variety of benefits to firms and the state economy. The benefits of
clusters could be best described by the Department of Trade and Industry in the United
Kingdom (Carroll and Reid, 2005):
21
•
Clusters increase levels of local expertise. This provides sourcing companies
with a greater depth to their supply chain and allows for potential of inter-firm
learning and cooperation.
•
Clusters give firms the ability to draw together complementary skills in order
to bid for large contracts that as individual units they would be unable to
successfully complete.
•
Clusters allow for potential economies of scale to be realized by further
specializing in production within each firm, by joint purchasing of common
raw materials to attract bulk discounts or by joint marketing.
•
Clusters strengthen social and other informal links, leading to the creation of
new ideas and new businesses.
•
Clusters improve information flows within industries and government
agencies. For example, clusters may enable finance providers to judge who
are the good entrepreneurs and business people to find providers of goods and
services.
•
Clusters allow for the development of an infrastructure of professionals, legal,
financial, and other specialist services.
Cluster-based economic development strategy around competitive clusters such as
pinyon-juniper biomass cluster would provide an opportunity for Lincoln and White Pine
counties to compete for future economic development. For this approach to be successful,
it will require a united effort of both public and private support. It will require individual
companies within the private sector to establish partnerships and joint ventures with other
local businesses. In the public sector, it requires some re-directing of scarce resources
towards cluster-based economic development strategies. To develop a successful Lincoln
and White Pine counties pinyon-juniper biomass cluster strategy, this may require
appointing a cluster champion and developing specific cluster strategy groups to address
common issues for future economic development in Lincoln and White Pine counties.
22
REFERENCES
Carrol, M. and N. Reid. “Implementing Cluster-Based Economic Development,”
Presented Paper at the Western Regional Science Association Meetings, San
Diego, California, February 2005.
Dillman, D. Mail and Internet Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. John Wiley and
Sons, Inc., 2000.
Energy Information Administration. "Energy Overview." Department of Energy, 2005.
.
Energy Information Administration. "Renewable Energy Trends 2004, Highlights."
Department of Energy, 2005.
Energy Information Administration, "State Energy Data 2001: Prices and Expenditures"
Department of Energy, 2005.
Haq, Z. "Biomass for Electricity Generation." Energy Information Administration,
Department of Energy, 2002.
Morris, G. “Biomass Energy Production in California 2002: Update of the California
Biomass Database.” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO.
Available on-line at http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy03osti/33111.pdf
Porter, M. The Competitive Advantage of Nations, The Free Press: New York, 1990.
23
CHAPTER III:
OVERVIEW OF LINCOLN AND WHITE PINE COUNTIES
24
Introduction
This section will provide a short synopsis of socio-economic trends in Lincoln
and White Pine counties. An understanding of these trends provides information as to
how development of local pinyon-juniper resources could impact Lincoln and White Pine
counties’ economic development and diversification activities. Detailed socio-economic
data and analysis for Lincoln and White Pine counties are presented in five published
University Center technical bulletins (Harris et al., 2004; Fadali et al., 2004; Fadali et al.,
2004; Harris, 2004; and Harris et al., 2001).
Socio-Economic Data Overview of Lincoln County
Lincoln County is located in the southeastern part of Nevada. Lincoln County is
bordered by Nye County to the west, Clark County to the South, White Pine County to
the north, and to the east by the Utah counties of Millard, Beaver, Iron, and Washington,
and by the Arizona county of Mohave. The community of Pioche is the county seat with
three additional population centers of Alamo, Caliente, and Panaca (Figure 10).
Tables 3 through 8 provide socio-economic data and trends for Lincoln County.
Table 3 shows trends in population growth for Lincoln County and the Lincoln County
communities of Alamo, Caliente, Panaca, and Pioche (Hardcastle, 2004). Beginning in
1996, the Nevada State Demographer initiated detailed community population estimates
for the state of Nevada.
From Table 3, the population of Lincoln County declined from 3,983 in 1996 to
3,822 in 2004 or a 4.04% decrease in population over eight years. However, this
population decrease was not uniform across the county. The Lincoln County
communities of Alamo and Panaca realized population growth from 1996 to 2004.
However, the community of Caliente and Pioche and the Rest of Lincoln County realized
population decreases from 1996 to 2004.
During the eight year period from 1996 to 2004, population in Lincoln County
declined by 4.04 percent. However, during this eight year period, population in the state
of Nevada increased from 1,696,405 in 1996 to 2,410,768 in 2004 or a 42.11% increase.
State of Nevada population increase primarily occurred in Clark County. Clark County
25
(Las Vegas) population increased from 1,119,052 in 1996 to 1,715,337 or a 53.28%
increase over eight years. Therefore, it can be seen that Lincoln County population
growth ran counter to overall state population growth.
Table 3. Population Estimates by Community for Lincoln County, Nevada, 1996
and 2004
Area
1996
2004
Annual
Percentage
Change
(nos.)
(nos.)
(%)
Alamo
359
441
22.84
Caliente
1,121
1,014
-9.55
Panaca
399
552
38.35
Pioche
749
669
-10.60
Rest of Lincoln County
1,355
1,146
-15.42
Lincoln County
3,983
3,822
-4.04
Source: Hardcastle, Jeff. Nevada County Population Estimates July 1, 1986 to July 1, 2004 Includes Cities
and Towns. The Nevada State Demographer’s Office, University of Nevada, Reno, 2004.
26
Figure 10. Lincoln County, Nevada Cities and Travel Distances
27
Table 4 uses Census data (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2001) to shed light on
the aging of the population in Lincoln County. When analyzing the age grouping in
Lincoln County, it should be noted that overall Census population for Lincoln County
increased from 3,775 persons in 1990 to 4,165 persons in 2000. For the 20 to 24 years of
age group and the 25 to 34 years of age group, their proportion share declined by 4%, and
their absolute numbers decreased by 103 persons from 1990 to 2000. For these two age
groups, population numbers decreased by 16.67% from 1990 to 2000.
The demographics for Lincoln County are somewhat similar to many rural
counties in the nation. Often rural counties lose population in age groups 20 to 24 years
and 25 to 34 years because the young people with the best education, health, the most
marketable skills and abilities leave the rural areas to realize their potential in
metropolitan counties. Lincoln County, like many rural counties from 1990 to 2000,
realized a loss in population of persons between the ages of 20 to 35 years of age.
Capturing the population age group of persons 20 to 34 years of age, the county area
gains future leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Taxes collected in the county to
invest in local education will now earn dividends for the people and economies of other
counties and states. Developing economic development programs such as pinyon-juniper
resources may encourage young people of Lincoln County to remain in the county.
Table 5 shows the trends in labor for Lincoln County from 1999 to 2004. The
unemployment rate has been somewhat erratic, decreasing from 5.9% in 1999 to 4.9% in
2002 and increasing to 5.4% in 2004.
The volatility in Lincoln County unemployment rate is also evident in all aspects
of the Lincoln County labor market. Number of employed persons who live in Lincoln
County increased from 1,048 in 1999 to 1,697 in 2002. However, the labor force in
Lincoln County declined from 1,785 in 2002 to 1,564 in 2004 or a 12.38% decrease in
labor force over two years. One primary reason for the stabilization in unemployment
rate in Lincoln County from 2003 to 2004 is not elevated county economic activity, but
the county workforce leaving the county. A pinyon-juniper biomass industry could help
stabilize and diversify the Lincoln County economy which may reduce the instability in
the Lincoln County workforce.
28
Table 4. Population by Age and Proportionate Share of Population by Age for
Lincoln County, 1990 and 2000.
1990
2000
Age Group
Number
Proportionate
Number
Proportionate
share
share
(%)
(%)
Under 5
304
8.05
262
6.29
5 to 9
315
8.34
266
6.39
10 to 14
356
9.43
377
9.05
15 to 19
275
9.11
461
11.07
20 to 24
142
3.76
137
3.29
25 to 34
476
12.61
378
9.08
35 to 44
440
11.66
534
12.82
45 to 54
399
10.57
536
12.87
55 to 59
199
5.27
278
6.67
60 to 64
170
4.50
263
6.31
65 to 74
354
9.38
373
8.96
75 to 84
208
5.51
230
5.52
85 and above
68
1.80
70
1.68
TOTAL
3,775
100.00
4,165
100.00
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce. Table DP-1, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics:
2000.” Bureau of Census: Washington D.C. 2001.
Table 5. Annual Labor Data for Lincoln County from 1999 to 2004.
Year
Employment
Unemployed
Labor Force Unemployment
(nos)
(nos)
(nos)
Rate (%)
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
1,048
1,575
1,685
1,697
1,515
1,470
66
82
95
88
87
95
1,114
1,657
1,753
1,785
1,602
1,564
5.9
4.9
5.4
4.9
5.4
5.4
Source: State of Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. “County Labor Force
Data”, Employment Research Division, Carson City, Nevada, Various Issues.
29
Table 6 shows taxable sales in Lincoln County from 1997 to 2004 (State of
Nevada Department of Taxation, Various Issues). Both nominal and real Lincoln County
taxable sales are calculated. Real taxable sales are net of inflation so that all real taxable
sales are based on 2000 prices. Table 6 shows the cyclical nature of Lincoln County
taxable sales that reflect Lincoln County economic activity from 1997 to 2004. Nominal
taxable sales for Lincoln County increased from $21,777,163 in 1997 to $24,130,567 in
2004 or a 10.81% increase in nominal taxable sales. However, real taxable sales
decreased from $22,873,730 in 1997 to $22,118,046 in 2004 or a 3.30% decrease in real
taxable sales in eight years. Also of interest is that real taxable sales for Lincoln County
declined by 34.8% in one year from 2003 to 2004.
Table 7 shows sectoral personal income and proportionate shares of personal
income for the nation, State of Nevada, and Lincoln County. From Table 7, national per
capita income in 2003 was $31,472, which was 1.37% less than the state per capita
income value ($31,910) and 52.47% greater than the Lincoln County per capita income
value ($20,641). Also from Table 7, the growing influence and impact of the elderly in
the national, state, and county economy is indicated by the proportionate share of
personal income from dividends, interest, and rents; and transfer payments. These
sources are primarily earned by the retired population. For the nation, dividends,
interests, and rents and transfer payments make up approximately 31% of total earned
personal income, which for the State of Nevada and Lincoln County it is approximately
31% and approximately 42%, respectively. From Table 7, the county’s low per capita
income and heavy reliance on dividends, interests, and rents; and transfer payments
indicate that alternative economic development strategies are needed for Lincoln County.
30
Table 6. Nominal and Real Taxable Sales for Lincoln County, 1997 to 2004.
Year
Nominal
Reala
Sales
Annual
Sales
Annual
Percent
Percent
Change
Change
(%)
(%)
1997
$21,777,163
$22,873,730
1998
$16,663,636
-23.48
$17,313,048
-24.31
1999
$22,421,738
34.55
$22,955,687
32.59
2000
$25,193,612
12.56
$25,193,612
9.75
2001
$22,260,136
-11.64
$21,770,730
-13.59
2002
$22,350,942
0.41
$21,529,796
-1.11
2003
$36,106,365
61.54
$33,964,879
53.56
2004
$24,130,567
-33.17
$22,118,046
-34.88
a
GDP price deflator where 2000 = 100.00
Source: State of Nevada Department of Taxation. “Sales and Use Taxes”, Carson City, Nevada, Various
Issues.
31
Table 7. Personal Income by Economic Sector for the United States, State of
Nevada, and Lincoln County, 2003.
U.S.
(%)
Shares
Nevada
(%)
98,593
34,889
765,749
536,945
5,959,452
2,598,428
2,098,563
4,257,832
1,718,504
Lincoln
County
($1,000)
2,089
D
D
D
3,580
593
D
3,640
D
0.50
0.29
0.62
0.80
4.71
10.43
3.99
5.28
2.53
0.14
0.05
1.07
0.75
8.33
3.63
2.93
5.95
2.40
Lincoln
County
(%)
2.37
D
D
D
4.05
0.67
D
4.12
D
276,104,000
531,843,000
175,768,000
647,068,000
1,122,437
3,498,071
1,560,142
3,863,188
D
1,303
256
D
3.02
5.81
1.92
7.07
1.57
4.89
2.18
5.40
D
1.48
0.29
D
145,304,000
1,177,263
0
1.59
1.65
0
254,628,000
2,239,433
603
2.78
3.13
D
93,434,000
670,247,000
164,076
3,943,672
D
D
1.02
7.32
0.23
5.51
D
D
77,378,000
1,139,554
D
0.85
1.59
D
195,271,000
9,095,355
D
2.13
12.71
D
213,989,000
1,236,431
D
2.34
1.72
D
109,607,000
791,506
275
1.20
1.73
0.31
219,213,000
1,236,431
2,293
2.53
1.11
2.60
835,168,000
6,113,080
D
9.13
8.55
D
1,475,529,000
14,153,526
16,140
16.12
19.78
18.28
1,335,323,000
9,151,694,000
8,109,641
68,819,511
20,558
88,303
14.59
11.33
23.28
Sector
U.S.
($1,000)
Farm
Forestry & Related
Mining
Utilities
Construction
Manufacturing
Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade
Transportation &
Warehousing
Information
Finance & Income
Real Estate
Professional &
Technical Services
Management of
Companies &
Enterprises
Administrative &
Waste Services
Educational Service
Health Care & Social
Assistance
Arts, Entertainment,
& Recreation
Accommodations &
Food Services
Other Services, exc.
Public Administration
Federal Government,
Military
Federal Government,
Civilian
State and Local
Government
Dividends, Interest, &
Rents
Transfer Payments
Total Place of
Residence Personal
Income
45,594,000
26,962,000
56,509,000
73,585,000
430,782,000
954,525,000
365,248,000
483,598,000
231,926,000
Income
Nevada
($1,000)
Per Capita Income
31,472
31,910
20,641
D stands for non-reported or information suppressed. This is a disclosure problem.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce. “Regional Economic Information System”, Bureau of Economic
Analysis: Washington, D.C., 2005.
32
A final unique characteristic of Lincoln County is found in Table 8. In terms of
landmass, Lincoln County ranks as the third largest county in the state of Nevada with
6,816,597 acres. The federal government administers approximately 98% of the land in
Lincoln County, with the Bureau of Land Management managing approximately 83.04%
of total Lincoln County acreage.
Also from Table 8, the state government of Nevada administers approximately
18,802 acres or 0.28% of total Lincoln County land mass. A unique feature of Lincoln
County as opposed to other Nevada counties is that Lincoln County has five state parks
that offer numerous camping, hiking, fishing, and other outdoor recreation opportunities.
Therefore, both federal and state government can play an important role in the
successful development and execution of any county strategic economic development
plan. The federal government, by the vast acreage it administers in Lincoln County, and
the state government, by its five state parks, influences current and future economic
development and diversification plans for Lincoln County (Figure 11).
Given the “boom-bust” cycles that have been experienced in Lincoln County from
the cyclical natural resource sectors (agriculture and mining) and federal military
operations (test site and proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain), the
industrial utilization of locally derived pinyon-juniper biomass and encouragement of
related spin-off industries could become a priority objective for Lincoln County decision
makers. Given vast federal government operations and five state parks, commercial
development of local pinyon-juniper resources and spin-off industries from local pinyonjuniper resources could potentially establish a rather stable economy given the volatility
of natural resource industries and federal military and non-military operations.
33
Figure 11. Lincoln County Nevada State Parks
34
Table 8. Federal, State and Local Government and Private Sector Lands in Lincoln
County, 2000.
Categories
Acreage
Share of Total
(acres)
(%)
Federal Agencies:
Bureau of Land
5,660,396
83.04
Management
Forest Service
30,703
0.45
Other Federal Agencies
1,009,188
14.80
Total Federal Lands
6,700,287
98.20
Native American
0
0.00
Reservations
State Government Lands
18,802
0.28
Local Government and
Private Sector Lands
TOTAL
97,509
6,816,597
1.43
100.00
Source: Zimmerman, J. and T. Harris. An Update of Federal and State Land-Based Payments in
Nevada. University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada, University Center for Economic
Development Technical Report UCED 2000/01-06, 2000.
35
Socio-Economic Data Overview of White Pine County
White Pine County is located in the northeastern part of Nevada. The county is
bordered by Elko County to the north, Eureka County to the west, and Nye and Lincoln
Counties to the south. Its eastern edge borders Utah’s Juab and Miller counties. The
community of Ely is the county seat with three additional communities of Lund, McGill,
and Ruth (Figure 12).
Tables 9 through 14 provide socio-economic data and trends for White Pine
County. Table 9 shows trends in population growth for White Pine County and the White
Pine County communities of Ely, McGill, and Ruth (Hardcastle, 2004). Beginning in
1996, the Nevada State Demographer initiated detailed community population estimates
for the state of Nevada.
From Table 9, the population for White Pine County declined from 10,134 in
1996 to 8,966 in 2004 or an 11.53% decrease in population over eight years. However,
this population decrease was not uniform across the county. White Pine County
designated as Rest of White Pine County realized population growth from 1996 to 2004.
However, the communities of Ely, Lund, McGill, and Ruth realized population decreases
from 1996 to 2004.
During the eight year period from 1996 to 2004, population in White Pine County
declined by 11.53%. However, during this eight year period, population in the state of
Nevada increased from 1,696,405 in 1996 to 2,410,768 in 2004 or a 42.11% increase.
State of Nevada population increase primarily occurred in Clark County. Clark County
(Las Vegas) population increased from 1,119,052 in 1996 to 1,715,337 or a 53.28%
increase over eight years. Therefore, it can be seen that White Pine County population
growth ran counter to overall state population growth.
36
Table 9. Population Estimates by Community for White Pine County, Nevada, 1996
and 2004
Area
1996
2004
Percentage
Change
(nos.)
(nos.)
(%)
Ely
4,819
2,962
-38.53
Lund
179
147
-17.88
McGill
1,299
1,079
-16.94
Ruth
451
379
-15.96
Rest of White Pine
3,386
4,399
29.92
County
White Pine County
10,134
8,966
-11.53
Source: Hardcastle, Jeff. Nevada County Population Estimates July 1, 1986 to July 1, 2004 Includes Cities
and Towns. The Nevada State Demographer’s Office, University of Nevada, Reno, 2004.
37
Figure 12. White Pine County, Nevada Cities and Travel Distances
38
Table 10 uses Census data (U.S. Department of Commerce, 2001) to shed light on
the aging of the population in White Pine County. When analyzing the age grouping in
White Pine County, it should be noted that overall Census population for White Pine
County decreased from 9,264 persons in 1990 to 9,181 persons in 2000. For the 20 to 24
years of age group and the 25 to 34 years of age group, their proportion share declined by
three percent, and their absolute numbers decreased by 299 persons from 1990 to 2000.
For these two age groups, population numbers decreased by 14.39% from 1990 to 2000.
The demographics for White Pine County are somewhat similar to many rural
counties in the nation. Often rural counties lose population in age groups 20 to 24 years
and 25 to 34 years because the young people with the best education, health, the most
marketable skills and abilities leave the rural areas to realize their potential in
metropolitan counties. White Pine County, like many rural counties from 1990 to 2000,
realized a loss in population of persons between the ages of 20 to 35 years of age.
Capturing the population age group of persons 20 to 34 years of age, the county area
gains future leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Taxes collected in the county to
invest in local education will now earn dividends for the people and economies of other
counties and states. Developing economic development programs such as pinyon-juniper
resources may encourage young people of White Pine County to remain in the county.
Table 11 shows the trends in labor for White Pine County from 1999 to 2004.
The unemployment rate has been somewhat erratic, increasing from 3.6% in 1999 to
4.6% in 2001 and decreasing to 4.0% in 2004.
The erratic unemployment rate for White Pine County is also evident for White
Pine County employment, number of unemployed, and labor force. White Pine County
labor force increased from 3,457 in 1999 to 3,772 in 2000, decreased in 2001 to 3,655,
increased once again to 3,837 in 2002, decreased once again to 3,710 in 2003, and finally
increased to 3,911 in 2004. This volatility in the local labor market is a result of the
White Pine County economy being heavily dependent upon natural resource industries.
Economic activity of the agricultural and mining sectors are impacted by national and
international markets and therefore highly variable. Industrial utilization of pinyonjuniper biomass may help stabilize the White Pine County economy labor market.
39
Table 10. Population by Age and Proportionate Share of Population by Age for
White Pine County, 1990 and 2000.
1990
2000
Age Group
Number
Proportionate
Number
Proportionate
share
share
(%)
(%)
Under 5
731
7.89
550
5.99
5 to 9
748
8.07
604
6.58
10 to 14
728
7.80
662
7.21
15 to 19
567
6.12
590
6.43
20 to 24
544
5.87
509
5.54
25 to 34
1,534
16.56
1,270
13.83
35 to 44
1,429
15.43
1,477
16.09
45 to 54
1,023
11.04
1,371
14.93
55 to 59
456
4.92
481
5.24
60 to 64
421
4.54
428
4.66
65 to 74
678
7.32
682
7.43
75 to 84
332
3.58
436
4.75
85 and above
78
0.84
121
1.32
TOTAL
9,264
100.00
9,181
100.00
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce. Table DP-1, Profile of General Demographic Characteristics:
2000.” Bureau of Census: Washington D.C. 2001.
Table 11. Annual Labor Data for White Pine County from 1999 to 2004.
Year
Employment
(nos)
Unemployed
(nos)
Labor Force
(nos)
Unemployment
Rate (%)
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
3,331
3,615
3,487
3,675
3,551
3,753
126
157
168
162
159
158
3,457
3,772
3,655
3,837
3,710
3,911
3.6
4.2
4.6
4.2
4.3
4.0
Source: State of Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. “County Labor Force
Data”, Employment Research Division, Carson City, Nevada, Various Issues.
40
Table 12 shows taxable sales in White Pine County from 1997 to 2004 (State of
Nevada Department of Taxation, Various Issues). Both nominal and real White Pine
County taxable sales are calculated. Real taxable sales are net of inflation so that all real
taxable sales are based on 2000 prices. Table 12 shows the cyclical nature of White Pine
County taxable sales and the impacts of opening and closure of mining operations in
White Pine County. Nominal taxable sales for White Pine County decreased from
$133,508,480 in 1997 to $80,818,882 in 2004 or a 39.47% decrease in nominal taxable
sales. Real taxable sales decreased from $139,925,462 in 1997 to $74,078,481 in 2004 or
a 47.06% decrease in real taxable sales.
Table 13 shows sectoral personal income and proportionate shares of personal
income for the nation, State of Nevada, and White Pine County. From Table 13, national
per capita income in 2003 was $31,472, which was 1.37% less than the state per capita
income value ($31,910) and 19.08% greater than the White Pine County per capita
income value ($26,429). Also from Table 13, the growing influence and impact of the
elderly in a national, state, and county economy is indicated by the proportionate share of
personal income from dividends, interest, and rents; and transfer payments. These
sources are primarily earned by the retired portion of the population. For the nation,
dividends, interests, and rents and transfer payments make up approximately 31% of total
earned personal income, which for the State of Nevada and White Pine County is
approximately 31% and approximately 31%, respectively.
41
Table 12. Nominal and Real Taxable Sales for White Pine County, 1997 to 2004.
Year
Sales
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
Reala
Nominal
$133,508,480
$117,329,758
$109,584,923
$75,591,498
$65,252,313
$68,424,534
$70,689,758
$80,818,882
Annual
Percent
Change
-12.12
-6.60
-31.02
-13.68
4.86
3.31
14.33
Sales
$139,925,462
$121,620,530
$111,972,170
$75,591,498
$63,723,584
$65,674,733
$66,497,115
$74,078,481
Annual
Percent
Change
-13.08
-7.93
-32.49
-15.70
3.06
1.25
11.40
a
GDP price deflator where 2000 = 100.00
Source: State of Nevada Department of Taxation. “Sales and Use Taxes”, Carson City, Nevada, Various
Issues.
42
Table 13. Personal Income by Economic Sector for the United States, State of
Nevada, and White Pine County, 2003.
White Pine
County
($1,000)
U.S.
(%)
Shares
Nevada
(%)
98,593
34,889
765,749
536,945
5,959,452
2,598,428
2,098,563
4,257,832
1,718,504
4,015
D
8,096
D
5,155
1,178
1,731
9,044
D
0.50
0.29
0.62
0.80
4.71
10.43
3.99
5.28
2.53
0.14
0.05
1.07
0.75
8.33
3.63
2.93
5.95
2.40
White
Pine
County
(%)
1.78
D
3.58
D
2.28
0.52
0.77
4.00
D
276,104,000
531,843,000
175,768,000
647,068,000
1,122,437
3,498,071
1,560,142
3,863,188
1,075
3,633
704
2,285
3.02
5.81
1.92
7.07
1.57
4.89
2.18
5.40
0.48
1.61
0.31
1.01
145,304,000
1,177,263
0
1.59
1.65
0
254,628,000
2,239,433
1,453
2.78
3.13
0.64
93,434,000
670,247,000
164,076
3,943,672
D
D
1.02
7.32
0.23
5.51
D
D
77,378,000
1,139,554
1,025
0.85
1.59
0.45
195,271,000
9,095,355
6,810
2.13
12.71
3.01
213,989,000
1,236,431
4,294
2.34
1.72
1.90
109,607,000
791,506
545
1.20
1.73
0.24
219,213,000
1,236,431
11,725
2.53
1.11
5.19
835,168,000
6,113,080
63,514
9.13
8.55
28.10
1,475,529,000
14,153,526
32,443
16.12
19.78
14.35
1,335,323,000
9,151,694,000
8,109,641
68,819,511
38,480
226,051
14.59
11.33
17.02
Sector
U.S.
($1,000)
Farm
Forestry & Related
Mining
Utilities
Construction
Manufacturing
Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade
Transportation &
Warehousing
Information
Finance & Income
Real Estate
Professional &
Technical Services
Management of
Companies &
Enterprises
Administrative &
Waste Services
Educational Service
Health Care & Social
Assistance
Arts, Entertainment,
& Recreation
Accommodations &
Food Services
Other Services, exc.
Public Administration
Federal Government,
Military
Federal Government,
Civilian
State and Local
Government
Dividends, Interest, &
Rents
Transfer Payments
Total Place of
Residence Personal
Income
45,594,000
26,962,000
56,509,000
73,585,000
430,782,000
954,525,000
365,248,000
483,598,000
231,926,000
Income
Nevada
($1,000)
Per Capita Income
31,472
31,910
26,429
D stands for non-reported or information suppressed. This is a disclosure problem.
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce. “Regional Economic Information System”, Bureau of Economic
Analysis: Washington, D.C., 2005.
43
A final unique characteristic of White Pine County is found in Table 14. In terms
of landmass, White Pine County ranks as fifth largest county in the state of Nevada with
5,669,200 acres. The federal government administers approximately 94% of the land in
White Pine County, with the Bureau of Land Management managing approximately 78%
of total White Pine County acreage. Also from Table 14, the state government of Nevada
administers approximately 9,119 acres or 0.16% of total White Pine County land mass.
Therefore, both federal and state government can play an important part in the
successful development and execution of any county strategic economic development
plan. The federal government, by the vast acreage it administers in White Pine County,
can influence current and future economic development and diversification plans for
White Pine County (Figure 13).
Given the “boom-bust” cycles that have been experienced in White Pine County
from the cyclical natural resource sectors (agriculture and mining), the industrial
utilization of locally derived pinyon-juniper biomass and encouragement of related spinoff industries could become a priority objective for White Pine County decision makers.
Given vast federal government operations, commercial development of local pinyonjuniper resources and spin-off industries from local pinyon-juniper resources could
potentially establish a rather stable economy given the volatility of natural resource
industries and federal military and non-military operations. However, investigating past
socio-economic trends provides an understanding of the economic base in Lincoln and
White Pine Counties.
44
Figure 13. White Pine County, Nevada National Park and Wildlife Refuge,
Wilderness/Wilderness Study Areas and Forest Service Lands
45
Table 14. Federal, State and Local Government and Private Sector Lands in White
Pine County, 2000.
Categories
Acreage
Share of Total
(acres)
(%)
Federal Agencies:
Bureau of Land
4,416,880
77.50
Management
Forest Service
826,384
14.50
Other Federal Agencies
87,198
1.53
Total Federal Lands
5,330,462
93.53
Native American
70,670
1.24
Reservations
State Government Lands
9,119
0.16
Local Government and
Private Sector Lands
TOTAL
288,949
5.07
5,669,200
100.00
Source: Zimmerman, J. and T. Harris. An Update of Federal and State Land-Based Payments in
Nevada. University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada, University Center for Economic
Development Technical Report UCED 2000/01-06, 2000.
46
Forecasted Population Growth in Lincoln and White Pine Counties
Often a criticism of economic development and diversification analysis by
Barkley et al. (1998) was that economic development and diversification plans were
based on past economic and/or population growth which might be at the end of its growth
phase. Past sectoral employment growth may be a poor predictor of future economic and
employment growth as well as pinyon-juniper demands. Therefore for this analysis
county projected population employment growth will be incorporated into this analysis.
Population Growth
The Nevada Office of the State Demographer estimates county population growth
from 2004 to 2024 (Hardcastle, 2004). Table 15 shows state of Nevada, Lincoln County,
White Pine County, and Clark County forecasted population growth from 2005 to 2024.
The state of Nevada is forecasted to increase from 2,448,021 in 2005 to 3,625,482 in
2024 or a 48.10% increase in population. Again, Clark County is forecasted to realize
most of the state’s population growth growing from 1,751,608 in 2005 to 2,751,082 in
2024 or a 57.06% increase in county population.
As for the study area counties of Lincoln and White Pine, forecasted population
growth in Lincoln County is less than the state while White Pine County is forecasted to
lose population. Lincoln County is forecasted to realize population growth from 3,870 in
2005 to 5,292 in 2004 or a 36.74% increase in population. However the forecasted
population increase in Lincoln County may be conservative given the Coyote Springs and
Lincoln County Land Act (LCLA) residential developments. These residential
developments may greatly increase the population growth in Lincoln County and could
increase the commercial and energy demands for local pinyon-juniper resources.
As opposed to state, Clark County, and Lincoln County forecasted population
trends, population in White Pine County is forecasted to decline from 8,760 in 2005 to
7,221 in 2024 or a 17.57 percent decline in county population. This forecast was
completed before the copper mine resumed operations and other mineral sector activity
had risen in Northeastern Nevada. This population projection, like Lincoln County’s, may
47
be conservative and could be revised in future population projections. However these
conservative population projections indicate a state economy that is expanding as well as
the economies of Clark and Lincoln counties. As for White Pine County, the economy
may be stagnate or even decrease slightly. However with expansion in the mineral
industry and increased economic activity in Lincoln County, White Pine County would
also realize increased demands for pinyon-juniper resources for commercial and energy
demands.
Table 15. Forecasted Population for the State of Nevada, Lincoln County, White
Pine County, and Clark County, 2005 to 2024
YEAR
State of Nevada
Lincoln County
White Pine County
Clark County
2005
2,448,201
3,870
8,760
1,751,608
2010
2,806,940
4,222
8,545
2,058,063
2015
3,125,677
4,619
7,816
2,328,564
2020
3,412,147
5,005
7,445
2,569,960
2025
3,625,482
5,292
7,221
2,751,082
Source: Hardcastle, J. Nevada. Nevada County Population Projections 2004 to 2024. The Nevada State
Demographer’s Office, University of Nevada, Reno, 2004.
48
REFERENCES
Fadali, E., T. Harris, B. Borden and M. Havercamp. Socioeconomic Profile for East and
West Lincoln County Study Areas. University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada,
University Center for Economic Development Technical Report UCED 2004/0505, 2004.
Fadali, E., T. Harris, G. Borden and J. Lopez. Socioeconomic Profile for City of Ely Study
Area and Baker-Lund Study Area. University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada,
University Center for Economic Development Technical Report UCED 2004/0506, 2004.
Hardcastle, J. Nevada County Population Estimates July 1, 1986 to July 1, 2004 Includes
Cities and Towns. The Nevada State Demographer’s Office, University of
Nevada, Reno, 2004.
Hardcastle, J. Nevada. Nevada County Population Projections 2004 to 2024. The Nevada
State Demographer’s Office, University of Nevada, Reno, 2004.
Harris, T., G. Borden. and M. Havercamp. Analysis of Socio-Economic Data and Trends
for Lincoln County: Part I. University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada,
University Center for Economic Development Technical Report UCED 2004/0501, 2004.
Harris, T. Analysis of Socio-Economic Data and Trends for White Pine County: Part I.
University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada, University Center for Economic
Development Technical Report UCED 2003/04-21, 2004.
Harris, T., T. Darden, J. MacDonald, K. Verre and R. Blood. Targeted Economic
Development for White Pine County Part I Analysis of Socio-Economic Data and
Trends. University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada, University Center for
Economic Development Technical Report UCED 2001/02-06, 2001.
U.S. Department of Commerce. Table DP-1, Profile of General Demographic
Characteristics: 2000.” Bureau of Census: Washington D.C. 2001.
State of Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. “County
Labor Force Data”, Employment Research Division, Carson City, Nevada,
Various Issues.
State of Nevada Department of Taxation. “Sales and Use Taxes”, Carson City, Nevada,
Various Issues.
U.S. Department of Commerce. “Regional Economic Information System”, Bureau of
Economic Analysis: Washington, D.C., 2004.
49
Zimmerman, J. and T. Harris. An Update of Federal and State Land-Based Payments in
Nevada. University of Nevada, Reno: Reno, Nevada, University Center for
Economic Development Technical Report UCED 2000/01-06, 2000.
50
CHAPTER IV:
POTENTIAL INDUSTRIAL DEMANDS FOR PINYONJUNIPER RESOURCES
51
Potential Industrial Demands for Pinyon-Juniper Resources
This chapter will investigate various potential commercial, industrial, and
governmental demands for pinyon-juniper. This analysis will investigate non-energy
demands for pinyon and juniper such as landscaping groundcovers and composite
materials as well as energy biomass demands for space heating, electric power
generation, and public building demands as well as emerging technologies.
Alternative Industrial Demands for Pinyon-Juniper
Below are detailed analyses of alternative demands for pinyon-juniper resources.
Information from this section could be used in a detailed feasibility analysis of a specific
pinyon-juniper enterprise.
Landscaping Materials, Soil Amendments and Animal Litters
Biomass from pinyon-juniper thinning operations can be chipped for animal litters
and bedding, mulches or soil amendments. The national market for these types of
products is obviously quite large, but the demand is generally being met by a large
number of existing competitors who often can produce them cheaply as by-products of
other types of wood industries (Thomas and Schumann, 1993). In addition, Lincoln and
White Pine counties face large transportation costs to any sizable market area, which can
be exacerbated by rising fuel costs. The most promising avenues for entrepreneurs in
White Pine and Lincoln counties may be to either serve local needs for these types of
products or to develop a specialized niche market in this type of product. Higher value
products typically require increased processing. For example, bark can be separated from
the wood or chips can be sorted by size to produce a more consistent looking product or
chips can be dyed an attractive color. Bagging wood mulch materials can also add
significant value. Bark separation is likely not economically feasible for pinyon-juniper
from thinning operations, but sorting, dying and bagging the chips may be3. In fact, one
company from Cedar City, Utah, using the U.S. Stewardship Program (this program is
described in detail later in this section) to assist in covering transportation costs, has
reportedly already been able to make use of the pinyon-juniper chips in this way
3
One Oregon entrepreneur claims to be able to profitably debark small diameter wood on-site (Noble,
2005). However, other experts believe debarking pinyon and juniper is likely to be too costly (Tausch,
2005, Intertech Services, 2005)
52
(Coombs, 2005). Niche products typically have added value from extra processing, not
all of which are possible with pinyon-juniper resources. The added value expands the
market place which can feasibly be served because the higher value justifies higher
shipping costs.
Using pinyon-juniper woodchips for a landscaping material may be a feasible
enterprise. Many types of wood chips are currently being used for landscaping, although
no studies on the use of pinyon-juniper wood chips for landscaping could be located.4
Pine products are routinely used for landscaping purposes, and it is likely that juniper
would also be suitable. Aging or composting of the chips is often advised in order to
reduce nitrogen deficiency problems when applying the chips to the landscape. Normally,
2 to 4 inches of the material may be applied to the top of the soil around plantings or
incorporated into the soil as an amendment. Before widespread use of pinyon-juniper
mulch, some testing of the products for any potential toxicity from naturally occurring
compounds should first be completed (Johnson, 2005).
Local demands for landscaping mulch were researched for Lincoln and White
Pine counties. Only one local retailer of mulching products could be found in the area.
The current demand for landscape maintenance use of wood mulching materials in the
area was estimated to be a minimum of 1.4 cubic feet per household per year. This would
yield a total of approximately 276 cubic yards per year if both counties are assumed to
have a similar per household demand. A check of retail prices for wood landscaping
materials in Nevada indicated that prices vary from $16 to $61 per cubic yard, depending
on sales location, size, aesthetic characteristics and whether or not the material is
bagged.5 There is typically a 35 percent mark-up between wholesale and retail prices for
mulch materials (Thomas and Schumann, 1993). Further research could reveal to what
extent this existing demand for wood mulch products could be met with pinyon-juniper
wood chips and the type of product likely to have the most success. Without any
4
One study discusses the first year result from various depths of pinyon-juniper chip mulch on reseeding
efforts in wildland areas and tests mulch effects on perennial grasses and other seeds germination rates in a
greenhouse setting. Resource Concepts. "Pinyon-Juniper Biomass Utilization Study for Lincoln County,
Nevada." September 2004.
5
There were also several reports of free mulch material available in White Pine County. Although this is a
good practical solution for government agencies that need to dispose of wood wastes in the least expensive
manner, as well as beneficial to local residents, the practice may make it difficult for any local enterprise
that would attempt to sell the wood chips for landscaping locally.
53
population growth in the region, however, the magnitude of local demand is likely not to
be large enough to justify more research or investment by itself. Mulch might make up
one component of an enterprise.
If housing developments such as the Coyote Springs and LCLA projects in
Lincoln County were to add large numbers of new homes and businesses to the area, a
potentially larger source of local demand for landscaping mulch materials might be
realized. For example, a typical single family house could conservatively use as much as
three cubic yards of mulching material to cover 500 square feet of landscape at an
application rate of 2 inches in depth when the initial landscape is established. Since plans
are for as many as 50,000 new residences in the Coyote Springs development and as
many as 60,000 people (or 20,000 homes at 3 persons per household) in the LCLA area
near Mesquite, potential demand could be quite large (Associated Press, 2005, Rake,
2005).6 However, plans for the first phase of development are for using solely rock
mulching materials for single family residences. Rock is favored over mulch cover
because of the area’s dry climate. Wood materials are not favored by the first phase
developer because of its tendency to dry up and blow off. Some experts, however, assert
that wood absorbs less heat and provides cooler mulch that requires less water use. This
concern would clearly have to be researched and addressed if Coyote Springs and LCLA
development area are to absorb any large amounts of wood material as a mulch cover for
landscaping. The Coyote Springs Investments group did express some interest in using
the material as a low-cost soil amendment (Caringer, 2005). The developers of these
areas would require cheaper bulk type products, whereas residential consumers might be
more willing to buy higher priced bagged materials. Bulk mulch products are considered
to be at the low end of the value-added ladder for uses of small diameter woods, however
(LeVan and Livingston, 2001).
There is likely very little market locally for bedding material associated with the
livestock industry since there are very few confined animal operations in the region.
Some small businesses have had some success in filling niche markets in the larger
regional market. For example, SBS Shavings of New Mexico produces shavings used for
6
If each of these 70,000 new households had a similar 1.4 cubic feet demand for wood mulching material,
total demand would be about 98,000 cubic feet per year (3,630 cubic yards per year).
54
pet or livestock bedding that they ship to five surrounding states. The operation uses 4 to
12 inch diameter wood from fire mitigation work around Ruidoso, New Mexico. The
product is high-quality and marketed as especially dust-free and absorbent. The operation
employs six people and currently requires approximately 3,900 cords of wood per year.
Grants from several different sources were used to help pay for equipment, design and
transportation systems. Reliability of supply for the long-term remains an issue for the
company. The smaller diameter wood (1 to 5 inches) from the thinning is used by a
second near-by business, Sierra Contracting. Sierra Contracting uses a tub grinder to
create compost and mulch. The company also charges $3.75 a cubic yard for taking wood
waste materials from the City of Ruidoso, providing an alternative to paying tipping fees
at a far-away landfill, a major source of revenue. They receive 200 to 400 cubic yards of
material per day in total. Compost is sold for $5 per cubic yard and mulch for $3 per
cubic yard. Grant money was used for the purchase of a truck and for marketing costs.
The company is currently breaking even, largely because of the fees received from the
City of Ruidoso for taking wood waste materials (United States Forest Service, 2004).
Composites
By combining ground wood with plastics, ceramics or other materials, lumber
substitutes can be made from low quality wood residues. Demand for lumber and lumber
substitutes is high and prices are also high. A successful venture for one New Mexico
Company, P & M Signs Inc. and P&M Plastics Inc. has been the use of a patented
process, AltreeTM, which uses the whole tree including juniper and pinyon pinecones,
berries, bark and needles, in combination with recycled plastics to manufacture signs,
pallets, and roofing shingles. The wood residue using portion of the business has
benefited from heavy support from the USFS. The company has been in business for 10
years and has a contract with National Forests to replace plywood signs with the new
product. The new composite has the advantage of not being attractive to porcupines, a
vital attribute in certain national forests. The technology is simple and low-cost. It
involves making a “dough” of the recycled melted plastic and finely ground wood waste
and pouring it into molds (Knaebe, 2005, USDA Forest Service Forest Products
Laboratory, 2003). Making lumber type products is also possible with this composite.
Lumber substitute products can sell for several dollars a running foot but require greater
55
expertise and capital outlay to manufacture. Extruders are needed for the more complex
lumber type products. Greater value added implies a larger market area since higher
shipping costs can be justified by greater profits. For a larger type operation,
sustainability of the supply of biomass would likely be an important issue.
Another composite product under development is “ceramicrete”. Gila WoodNet, a
nonprofit in New Mexico, is experimenting with the patented material which uses wood
chips and a phosphate ceramic mix and can be used like wood (New Mexico Small
Business Development Center, 2005). All composite materials may have an additional
environmental advantage in that they may be sequestering the carbon thought to be a
major cause of global warming while reducing the need for the larger trees normally
needed for our lumber supply.
Potential Demands for Biomass Energy in Lincoln and White Pine County
Using wood for biomass energy is considered to be at the bottom of the value
added scale. If it is feasible, a much larger value can normally be obtained by using wood
for any type of lumber, engineered wood product, wood composite or sometimes even
mulch material. The pinyon and juniper wood chips, however, may be difficult to process
economically for these uses. Using wood for energy helps meet other goals such as
energy independence and decentralization, stability of fuel price and supply, renewable
and more diverse source of energy supplies, reduction of harmful emissions that can
cause air pollution or global warming and a way to dispose of excess woody materials.
Electric Generation Plants
Electricity demand in the southwestern region is expected to increase. For
example, total demand in the Rocky Mountain-Southwestern region that includes
southern Nevada is expected to increase by 15 percent from 2005 to 2010. Local
increases in demand for electricity in the Las Vegas region including the new Coyote
Springs Investments and LCLA areas will likely be even larger. Current average retail
prices in the southwest-mountain region ranged from 5.7 cents per kilowatt hour for
industrial uses to 9.1 cents per kilo-watt hour for residential uses in August 2005 (see
Table 16). Prices for electricity were not expected to increase by 2010, but rather
decrease slightly (Energy Information Administration, 2003). However, the projections
56
were based on much lower oil and natural gas prices than the current prices for these
commodities.
Table 16. August 2005 and 2010 Projected Average Electricity Prices, Mountain
Region
Type of End Use
Average End-Use Price
(2003 cents per kilowatt-hour)
August 2005 2010 Projected
Residential
9.1
8.3
Commercial
7.6
7.1
Industrial
5.7
5.6
Transportation
6.8
7.1
All Sectors Average
7.6
7.3
Sources: Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-826, "Monthly Electric Sales and Revenue Report
with State Distributions Report. NewGen Data and Analysis, RDI Consulting/FT Energy (Boulder, CO,
August 2000) and EIA, AEO2005 National Energy Modeling System run aeo2005.d102004a.
Currently, very low wholesale electricity costs in the region mean that electric
generation from the burning of wood chips may not cost effective, even when “green
energy” credits are taken into account. For example, Mt. Wheeler Power cooperative
pays less than 2 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity. The cost of producing electricity
from wood can range from 6 to 11 cents per kilowatt hour, according to some recent
feasibility studies (Haase, 2004, McNeil Technologies Inc., 2000). Costs are variable,
depending on many factors, including fuel costs and plant size. A very small plant would
likely have higher costs per kilowatt hour.
Estimated plant size for an electric generation plant using solely wood biomass is
around 0.4 megawatts if all estimated annual wood thinning produced by White Pine and
Lincoln counties BLM thinning operations are devoted to the plant and currently
available tonnages remain about the same into the future. Current plans for pinyon and
juniper thinning by the BLM imply a maximum supply of perhaps 9,000 tons of green
chips per year. If the chips are 25 percent water, bone dry tons available would be 6,750
tons. At least 300 tons a year are contracted to go to the Ely schools for fuels project,
leaving 6,450 tons. It is often suggested that plant size be geared to one third or one half
of supply believed to be available to order to account for variability in supply.
Optimistically, this would mean plant size could be geared to using 3,225 tons of bone
dry chips a year. The plant size that can be supported by this amount of wood biomass
57
would likely produce less than one-half megawatt of power, based on a figure of 8,000
bone dry tons of biomass per MW of electricity produced. At 80 percent capacity, a 0.4
megawatt rated plant could theoretically produce enough electricity for somewhere
between 170 to 380 homes (Energy Industry Issues Newsletter, 2003). All these estimates
should be considered rough and would require a more extensive feasibility study to
confirm.
Special Placement for Electric Co-generation Plant
Co-generation that allows for the production of both heat and electricity on-site
represents one of the more desirable uses of the pinyon and juniper wood chips for
electric generation. Using the heat available from burning the chips increases the
efficiency of the system. Because the current cost of electricity in the region is low,
electrical energy produced in a small plant of this sort may not be competitively priced. If
the wood heat replaces heat produced by natural gas or other high-priced fuel, the heat
may be provided at a competitive price. If grant money is available to help build a cogeneration plant, than the demand for this type of project will increase.
One element of the cost effectiveness of a pinyon-juniper co-generation strategy
is based on the ability to locate the co-generation plants in the most advantageous places
on the grid. Typically, these will be in out of the way areas that have small distribution
capacities that must carry electricity over long distances. Locating co-generation at the
end of these distribution lines greatly reduces the amount of electricity that must be sent
down the distribution and can increase reliability (Englin, et al., 1987).
The main suppliers of electrical power in the region are Mt. Wheeler Power and
Lincoln County Power District. Both entities have available a large supply of relatively
cheap energy.
Mt. Wheeler Power is a member of the Deseret GNP cooperative which gets most
of its power from the Bonanza coal-powered plant in Vernal, Utah. The four year average
member rate delivered at wholesale was about 3 cents per kilowatt hour. The service area
includes most of White Pine County and some surrounding areas. No new lines or line
replacements are planned by Mt. Wheeler Power in the next 8 to 10 years, barring major
new developments, which mean the utility would experience no additional benefits from
being able to delay new lines or line replacement by strategic placement of a small
58
cogeneration plant. New power coming into the cooperative would earn less than 2 cents
per kilowatt hour. From the utility’s point of view, there would be little interest in a small
co-generation unit with the better option for such a plant being an “on-site” plant such as
the one at the school in Ely (Murdoch, 2005).
As for Lincoln County, the Lincoln County Power District (LCPD) is organized
as a 318 General Improvement District. The LCPD energy is supplied through a Hoover
Dam allotment, providing access to inexpensive electric power. A small biomass plant
likely could not compete with the price of the energy, even if strategically placed. Once
again, from the utility point of view there is little interest in such a plant under current
circumstances. The Lincoln County Power District might be willing to hook up to the
plant if the energy could be sold elsewhere, possibly using the renewable energy
attributes of such a plant. If circumstances changed dramatically with the new LCLA and
Coyote Springs developments, such that LCPD used up its Hoover allotment, there might
be more interest in such small plants (Lloyd, 2005).
Coyote Springs developers may form their own 318 GID and may not be buying
power through the LCPD. They will likely work with Arizona Power or Sierra Pacific
Power Company which have higher priced electricity. Coyote Springs developers might
be interested in building an electric bio-mass plant in northern Lincoln County. The
power generated there could then be sold to LCPD at their current price (Caringer, 2005).
An avenue for additional research would be to investigate the desirable and
undesirable environmental and security aspects of small biomass cogeneration plants.
Biomass plants may have attributes relating to renewable energy, global warming and
carbon sequestration, energy independence and security provided by decentralized energy
which make its energy more desirable and worth more money per kilowatt hour. Partly
because of these attributes, grants may be available to help with start-up costs where
desirable attributes relating to these issues are brought to the fore.
Co-firing
Demand for wood wastes for use in co-firing is quite high. Co-firing is the
burning of biomass in combination with coal or other fuels. Usually only a small
proportion (less than 15 percent) of the total energy inputs in co-firing come from wood
waste sources, but for large plants this still produces an enormous demand for biomass.
59
Co-firing is desirable because it can reduce pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen
oxides. Using a small percentage of wood biomass for co-firing may be an option for the
new coal burning power plant being planned in the Ely area. A likely problem for
investigation would be whether near-by thinning projects would produce a large enough
wood supply over the long-term and whether the equipment being planned can readily
accommodate co-firing. Transportation costs of the chips might be reduced if train
transport is reinstated locally in connection with the planned power plant. A new coalfired power plant is also being planned at the Toquop site. The Toquop site at the far
southern end of Lincoln County may not be ideally located for cheap transportation of the
wood chips.
Space Heating
Space heating using wood energy is a traditional and viable use for the pinyon and
juniper resource. Firewood from pinyon and juniper has been and still is being used
locally. A local example of a more modern type of heating use would be the Ely Fuels to
Schools program. Space heating projects typically have a better payback period than do
electrical generating or co-generation activities (Haase, 2004). This is especially true if
wood heat replaces natural gas (or another expensive fuel), which currently costs over $6
per million Btu on average in the southwestern mountain region. Local use of the wood
would decrease transportation costs. Increasing the energy density of the wood chips
through making pellets or charcoal increases the value of the resource and the distance
that the product can economically be shipped. Current wood pellet prices around the
country ranged from $120 per ton to $300 per ton. Highest prices are obtained for pellets
made from debarked wood since bark contains more impurities.
Potential Demand for Biomass Heating at Public Buildings in Lincoln and White
Pine Counties
One possible use for pinyon and juniper wood chips produced by thinning
operations on public land is heating of public buildings. The use of woody biomass for
school heating has been successful for some eastern states and it is hoped that the
program can be expanded into western states. A Fuels for Schools demonstration site has
already been established in Ely, Nevada at Norman Elementary School.
60
The Fuels for Schools program of the United States Forest Service (USFS)
promotes the use of woody biomass materials as an energy source for schools and other
public buildings. It is hoped that this program and others like it will help to develop
commercial uses for biomass that is removed from forests for fire prevention purposes. In
Nevada, the Nevada Division of Forestry is working with the USFS on the program.
More information about the program, including a pre-feasibility assessment form, is
available at http://www.fuelsforschools.org/ or by calling Jason Perock at 775-684-2510.
Fuels for Schools Demonstration Project at Norman Elementary School in Ely,
Nevada
The White Pine County School District has successfully converted the Norman
Elementary School to a wood heating system with the use of grants from the U.S.
Department of Energy and the Fuels for Schools program of the USFS and Nevada
Division of Forestry. Grants paid for approximately $600,000 of the $1,000,000
conversion cost. Costs included a biomass boiler with a heating capacity of 3 to 4.2
million Btu/hour, an automatic chip delivery system, a steam to hot water heat exchanger,
an electronic control system with diagnostic software, a fire suppression system as well
as a new building to house the system. The system is used to provide heat for a 36,000
square foot campus. The system is clean burning and generally does not produce visible
emissions. Emissions will be monitored and are expected to be less than those produced
with the old oil burning fuel system.
The amount of fuel needed was estimated to be 150 tons per year of wood chips.
Assuming a price for fuel oil of $1.30 per gallon and a wood fuel cost that only includes
transportation costs; savings in fuel costs were estimated to be about $12,000 a year.
Since fuel costs have recently risen to as high as $2.25 per gallon, fuel cost savings are
currently significantly better than initially estimated (Johnson, 2005).
In the planning stages, maintenance and operation costs were expected to decrease
because the new system reduced the number of boilers that needed to be cleaned and
maintained. The decreased maintenance costs were not actualized during the
implementation stages, however. Instead, issues that developed relating to chip quality,
storage and transportation have created increased maintenance costs. Storage of the wood
61
chips has been difficult for the school district. Outside storage of the fuel has created
problems with fuel cleanliness, consistency and moisture levels (Johnson, 2005).
When the school district requested bids for wood chip delivery services, no
business submitted a bid. No local business has been interested in providing a wood chip
processing, storage and delivery system. A Montana company has been investigating
bringing a pellet business to the region but has not yet committed to the project. Paul
Johnson, Chief Financial Officer for the White Pine School District, speculates that the
reason for this lack of interest may be that no business can make the necessary
investments in plant and equipment without better information on the amount of wood
chips that will be available over a long term from Bureau of Land Management and other
pinyon-juniper thinning operations7. Because of these problems the White Pine School
District does not anticipate any expansion of the program to other schools at this time
(Johnson, 2005). Long term supply guarantees, chip quality, storage and transport are
issues that should be carefully examined for any other potential conversion project.
Possibilities for Conversion to Biomass Heating for Public Buildings in Lincoln and
White Pine Counties
The cost effectiveness of conversion to biomass heating for a facility depends on
many factors. Typically, lower fuel costs for wood or biomass must be weighed against
the higher capital costs of modern wood heating systems compared to more traditional
fossil fuel heating systems. Some of the most important factors are type of fuel being
replaced, cost of fuel being replaced, predictability of future fuel costs, type of existing
heating system, whether replacement or addition to existing system is necessary for other
reasons, fuel storage space availability and the size of the heat load.
The higher competing fuel costs are in comparison to the biomass fuel costs, the
more likely a conversion to biomass heating will be cost effective. Typically electric heat
is the most expensive type of heating and therefore larger fuel savings from conversion
can be generated. Diesel oil systems with an existing hot water or steam distribution
system already in place may be cheaper to convert to a wood burning system, however.
Larger facilities with high energy load typically make for a more cost effective
7
The Stewardship Contracts program discussed elsewhere in this document does allow for contracts of up
to ten years.
62
conversion than do smaller facilities. If a public building needs to replace the current
heating system or install a new system because the heating system is old or because the
building is new or expanding, conversion will likely be more cost effective than if a new
smoothly functioning system is to be replaced. In some cases, the price of wood chips or
other biomass may be determined locally and is more stable than world oil or gas prices.
The stability of the wood fuel price may be desirable because of its predictability. If
grants from state or national sources are available to reduce conversion costs and/or wood
fuel costs, the cost effectiveness of a conversion project will naturally increase (Maker,
2004)8.
Selected Public Buildings
Potential demand for biomass heating in some of the public buildings in Lincoln
and White Pine counties was investigated. Included in the survey were the Lincoln and
White Pine County court houses, school districts and medical centers and the Nevada
State Prison in Ely.
Lincoln County Court House
The courthouse in Lincoln County is a three story building currently heated with
diesel fuel. The heating system uses a boiler to produce hot water heat and is reportedly
functioning without major problems. Heating fuel oil costs and usage were not readily
available and could not be produced in the short time allotted for this brief survey.
However, a rough estimate of heating costs for the courthouse was $4,000 per year.
Survey results indicated little interest in further exploration of conversion to wood
heating at this time.
Grover C. Dils Medical Center
The Grover C. Dils Medical Center is a facility consisting of three buildings: an
older building used for administration, a newer building which houses the clinic and the
main building with emergency services and 20 beds. The center uses electrical heat and
air conditioning and propane for a kitchen stove and back-up generator. A rough estimate
of total electricity cost is $6,000 a month with an additional $200 a month spent on the
propane. The facility is upgrading heating and air conditioning but it has already been
8
This discussion on the economic analysis of conversion to wood heat follows chapter seven in Maker, 2004, “Wood-Chip Heating
Systems: A Guide for Institutional and Commercial Biomass Installations” and is available on-line at
http://www.biomasscenter.org/pdfs/Wood-Chip-Heating-Guide.pdf
63
determined that the system will continue to be electric. Facility operators did not consider
wood fuel use appropriate for hospital use. Space on the grounds is currently at a
premium and there is no space for storage of wood chips. The facility would not be able
to expand in the future unless grant money were available to pay all the costs of
expansion (Fackrell, 2005).
Lincoln County School District
The Lincoln County School District facilities cover a wide variety of situations.
Types of fuel used for heating the facilities range from diesel oil and propane to
geothermal and electric. In Panaca, propane is the fuel used for heating hot water. Panaca
is in the planning stages for a new vocational building. In Pioche, the elementary school
is only four years old and no expansion of facilities is planned. Limited storage might be
available for wood chip storage. The district is interested in learning more about biomass
heating. The school district was able to supply detailed energy costs for the schools from
fiscal year 2004/2005 (Bradfield, 2005). These costs are enumerated in Table 17 below
and ranged between about $3,000/year to over $6,000/year. The elementary school in
Pioche uses electric heat and energy costs were not readily available.
White Pine County Courthouse
The county currently uses diesel oil for heating. The road department of the
county provided detailed information on fuel usage and costs for the county annex and
the road department. Actual fuel use for the 2004/2005 (December to November) year at
the annex was 21,381 gallons of diesel which cost $40,497. For the road department
annual building fuel use was 4,537 gallons at $9,961. Furnaces were replaced in 2002.
The county airport has a 40 year old boiler. The current financial situation in White Pine
County means that no expansion or replacement of heating systems can take place unless
there is dire necessity or unless outside agencies provide grants that pay the entire cost of
the conversion (Blair, 2005).
William B. Ririe Hospital
William B. Ririe Hospital currently uses diesel fuel with a boiler and a propane
roof-top heating system. Hot water heat is produced with propane. The facility is
currently in the middle of an expansion. To increase heating capacity and add air
conditioning, an expansion of the current rooftop heating system has been ongoing. It is
64
unlikely that the facility would want to convert to a new heating system soon and
unlikely that they will expand further in the next five years. No space is currently
available for storing wood chips. Facility officials were able to provide detailed
information on heating fuel use and costs for the previous year. Propane costs were about
$17, 870 dollars and diesel costs were $36,935 dollars (Ashcraft, 2005).
Nevada State Prison at Ely
Nevada State Prison officials in Ely started a preliminary investigation of
conversion to wood heat, but decided early in the process that wood heat was not feasible
for the facility. Conversion costs for the large system were judged to be prohibitive. The
facility currently uses diesel fuel oil for heating with three large 5 to 11 million Btu/hour
output capacity boilers and a closed loop hot water output system. The prison was built in
1989 and the current system functions very smoothly. There are no plans currently to
expand the facility or change the heating system (Saiz, 2005).
Potential Demands Table
Table 17 contains rough estimates of the heating energy demands for selected
public buildings in White Pine and Lincoln Counties. The type and/or amount of fuel
used in a year was collected by surveying public officials knowledgeable of either
heating costs or the actual heating systems or both. Data available in a short time frame
ranged from precise monthly billing information to rough guesses at heating costs to
complete unavailability. In some cases where only fuel costs were known, fuel usage has
been estimated using total heating costs and an assumption about the average cost of fuel,
as noted in the table. The data below should be interpreted as a first preliminary estimate
that gives an order of magnitude demand for wood chips if a facility were to be
converted. A more precise pre-feasibility estimate should be made if consideration of
conversion to wood heat is contemplated.
It is assumed that the amount of heat provided by a pound of wood is 6,600 Btu
per pound of wood, because this assumption was used in the Norman Elementary School
demonstration project (Johnson, 2005). The actual heating value of wood varies
depending on its moisture content. For simplicity, the efficiency of heating systems is
assumed to be the same for all fuels at a particular facility. Actual heating systems will
65
vary considerably in efficiency depending on price and type of system as well as type of
fuel used and other variables.
Estimated demand for wood fuel if a facility were to convert its heating system
varied from 16 tons per year to replace diesel oil at Panaca Elementary, which already
uses geothermal energy, to the largest demand at the prison facility in Ely of nearly 4,300
tons per year. The latter demand likely exceeds one half the expected supplies of wood
chips from BLM chipping operations over the next several years. It is suggested that
projects count on only one half to one third of estimated supply, which BLM officials
suggested might be around 8,000 tons per year in the next several years. Projects
demanding smaller tonnages would be more likely to have a sustainable supply, if
projects were coordinated. However, smaller projects would also likely pay more per Btu
for the initial capital costs of conversion.
66
Table 17. Potential Wood Heating Energy Demand in Selected Public Facilities in White Pine and Lincoln Counties.
Facility
Fuel Type
Annual Fuel Use
Norman Elementary
State Prison at Ely
Wood Chips
Diesel Oil
White Pine County
Annex
White Pine County
Roads Department
William B. Ririe
Hospital
Diesel Oil
150 tons
405,000 gal.
(rough estimate)
21,381 gal.
Diesel Oil
4,537 gal.
Diesel Oil,
Propane
11,573 gal.(propane),
14,824 gal. (diesel)
Lincoln County
Courthouse
Grover C. Dils
Medical Center
Diesel Oil
Panaca Elementary
Geothermal,
Diesel Oil
Diesel Oil
2000 gal. (assuming
$2/gal.)
960,000 KwH (assuming
7.5 cents per KwH, Elec.
Only)
1,522 gal. (assuming
$2/gal.)
1,625 gal. (assuming
$2/gal.)
1825 gal. (assuming
$2/gal.)
3224 gal. (assuming
$2/gal.)
3117 gal. (assuming
$1.90/gal.)
Meadow Valley
Middle School
Lincoln County High
Caliente Elementary
Pahranagat Valley
Elementary
Pioche Elementary
Pahranagat Valley
High School
Electric Heat,
Propane
Diesel Oil
Diesel Oil,
Electricity
Propane
Electricity
Diesel Oil
3446 gal. (assuming
$2/gal.)
Annual Fuel Cost
Btu Equivalent
(Billions/Yr)
1.98
56.7
Equivalent Wood
Chips (Tons/Yr)
150
4,296
3.0
227
0.64
48
3.2
237
0.28
21
3.3
248
0.21
16
$3,250
0.23
17
$3,649
0.26
19
$6,448
0.45
34
$5,923
0.28
22
$3,446
0.48
37
$5250 to $6750
$810,000 (assuming $2/gal.)
$40,497
(avg. $1.90/gal.)
$9,961
(average $2.20/gal.)
$17,869 (propane, avg.
$1.54/gal.)
$36,935 (diesel, avg.
2.49/gal.)
$4000
(rough estimate)
$74,400 (all electric costs
including non-heat and
propane)
$3,044 (diesel only)
67
Emerging Technologies
Below is a discussion of ongoing research at university and governmental
laboratories on biomass products and uses. Some of the emerging technologies may find
use of pinyon-juniper biomass and could in the future initiate a new industry in Lincoln
or White Pine counties.
Water Filters
Experimental research at the Forest Product Laboratories in Wisconsin indicates
that low grade juniper wood-fiber is especially good at absorbing heavy metals and other
contaminants. The bark of the juniper is actually especially desirable since it contains
more of the extractives that absorb pollutants, so all of the wood can be used. They have
created filters to use for land reclamation and other cleanup of pollution. The filtration
business world wide is a multi-billion dollar business and growth industry. If the filters
could be shown to be useful at nearby mining operations, a potential regional niche for
the product would exist. The technology needed for this type of product is fairly simple.
The main piece of equipment needed would be a hammer mill (Forest Products Journal,
2003, Knaebe, 2005, USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory, 2003).
Wood Ethanol
Because ethanol can be used as a substitute for a large percentage of the gasoline
burned in vehicles, demand and prices for the product are high. Currently the terminal
market price of ethanol is about $2.30 per gallon (Oxy-fuel News Price Report, 2005).
The recently passed energy bill provides tax incentives and tax breaks to be used to
increase ethanol production.
Efficient and competitive production of ethanol from wood wastes is still under
development, although there have been several promising breakthroughs recently. Wood
feedstock costs are low but capital and operating costs are higher than costs for grain
ethanol. Production of ethanol from wood wastes is possible, with 50 to 80 gallons per
ton of wood waste the potential yield. Some barriers to using the juniper and pinyon
thinning for ethanol use, in addition to the usual transportation costs barrier, would be
that, for most ethanol processes, debarked wood is a superior feedstock, larger size plants
are more efficient and waste products may be difficult to handle. Technical expertise or
68
the desire to learn the technical expertise is a prerequisite for this type of project (Zerbe,
1991, Knaebe, 2005).
Ethanol from Wood and Municipal Solid Wastes
Bio-ethanol made from municipal solid wastes and other carbon based materials
such as pinyon-juniper waste wood is being made in pilot plants. BRI Energy, the
company backing one effort, claims that it can produce 75 gallons of ethanol from a ton
of waste materials. No commercial plant has been built as of November 2005 according
to the BRI website (Voyles, 2005). The Lincoln County Crestline landfill has recently
been purchased by NorCal Waste, a company based in California. The company has been
exploring with the county the possibility of bringing in several trainloads a week of
municipal waste from the Los Angeles area. The site is advantageously placed east of
Panaca near railroad lines which help reduce transport costs (Keaton, 2005).
Mobile Bio-power Plants
One of the most difficult aspects of developing an economic use for pinyon and
juniper wood chips is the expense of hauling the low-value chips. One potentially
promising technology for pinyon and juniper chips might be the portable bio-power plant
in development by the University of North Dakota, Energy and Environmental Research
Center. This technology is currently being tested. The Flex micro-turbine is trailer
mounted and can be taken to the site of the wood wastes where it can convert the wood
chips into gas. The ability to go on-site improves the economics of the gasification
process (Energy and Environmental Resource Center, 2005). The technology is not
available commercially, but commercial testing is scheduled. Conversion processes for
wood wastes are fairly technical and would require several individuals who are
knowledgeable about or very interested in these processes to work closely with the
project. The unit may not be portable on very rough terrain.
Stewardship Contracts Program
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and United States Forest Service
(USFS) are using stewardship contracts to link land management goals of the Healthy
Forests Initiative to economic development and other local needs in surrounding
69
communities. The contracts generally allow a private company, non-profit or local
government entity to keep the forest products produced in exchange for services such as
thinning, processing or removing excess fuels produced by forest health projects.
Authority for contracts as long as ten years can be granted, in recognition that investment
in plant and equipment requires a reliable resource for extended periods. There is a
special encouragement of non-profit and local government participation in stewardship
contracts. Contracts are awarded on a so-called “best value basis” and should meet dual
goals of increasing forest health and meeting local community needs. The contracts do
not need to be based solely on revenue generation. If any excess revenues are generated
they may be used for additional forest health projects within the state (Bureau of Land
Management, 2004).
Local examples of stewardship contracting include the Ely Fuels to Schools
project and the removal of pinyon-juniper chips from the Mt. Wilson thinning project to
Cedar City, Utah to a company that dyed the chips for use as a landscaping material.
Private companies are also contracting with the BLM for carrying out pinyon-juniper
thinning in the region. Forest products produced must be given fair market value. In the
case of the BLM pinyon-juniper wood chips the current fair market value being used is
$25 per delivered green ton. Removal and transportation of the chips may be considered
one of the services rendered in exchange for the chips. Extensive guidance on
stewardship contracting is provided by the BLM on-line at
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/spotlight/forest_initiative/stewardship_contracting/ . The local
contact for the stewardship contracting is Cody Coombs, Fire Management
Specialist/Fuels Program Manager Bureau of Land Management Ely Field Office
(Coombs, 2005).
70
REFERENCES
Ashcraft, M. Accounts Payable, William B. Ririe Hospital, “Informal phone discussion of
possible wood fuel use and faxed materials”, Ely, Nevada, December 19 and 22,
2005.
Associated Press. BLM land sale, development boom may reshape Lincoln. Mesquite,
NV., 2005.
Blair, H. Supervisor, "Informal phone discussion of possible wood fuel use and faxed
materials". White Pine Public Works Department, Ely, Nevada, December 15,
2005.
Bradfield, D. "Informal phone discussion of possible wood fuel use and faxed materials".
Lincoln County School District, December, 22, 2005.
Bureau of Land Management . BLM Stewardship Contracting: Q's and A's. Washington,
D.C., 2004.
Caringer, D. Coyote Springs Investments, "Informal phone discussion of uses for pinyonand juniper wood chips.", November 7,2005.
Carlton, M. Wood Chips, Sierra Pacific Industries, "Informal phone discussion of prices
for wood chips", November 8, 2005.
Coombs, C. Fire Management Specialist/Fuels Program, Manager Bureau of Land
Management, Ely Field Office, "Informal phone discussions and e-mails
concerning pinyon-juniper uses and supplies", Ely, Nevada, November 16, 2005.
Energy and Environmental Resource Center. "FlexEnergy Small Modular BioPower
Project", University of North Dakota., 2005.
Energy Industry Issues Newsletter. What is a Megawatt?, ed. Alexander's Gas and Oil
Connections. "Understanding How Many Houses can be Served by a Megawatt of
Power". 2003.
Energy Information Administration ."Annual Energy Outlook 2005 with Projections to
2025, Regional and Other Detailed Tables". Washington, D.C., 2003.
Englin, J., et al. "Load Management Alternatives to Construction: Toledo-Wren Case
Study." Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Department of Energy, Bonneville Power
Administration. 1987.
Fackrell, S. Controller, "Informal phone discussion of possible wood fuel use.", Grover
C. Dils Medical Center, December 19, 2005.
71
Ffolliott, P. F., and W. P. Clary. "Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands in the Southwest."
University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources. 1986.
Forest Products Journal. "Techno News: Water Filters Made From Wood Fiber." Forest
Products Journal 53, no. 1(2003): 1.
Haase, S. "Lessons Learned from Forest Biomass Feasibility Studies". Lakewood, CO,
McNeil Technologies, Inc.,2004.
Intertech Services Corporation. “Industrial Utilization of Pinyon-Juniper Biomass
Resulting From Thinning Treatments in White Pine and Lincoln Counties,
Nevada: Business Considerations, Preliminary Draft.” Carson City, Nevada,
2005.
Johnson, P. "Informal phone and e-mail discussion of Biomass Heating Pilot Project",
Chief Financial Officer, White Pine School District, December 14, 2005.
Johnson, P. "White Pine County, NV Public School System Biomass Conversion Heating
Project." White Pine School District, Department of Energy.
Johnson, W. Extension Specialist, PAT, IPM, Horticulture and Urban Forestry, "Informal
e-mail correspondence concerning pinyon-juniper wood mulch materials",
October 25, 2005.
Keaton, H. Lincoln County Commissioner, "Informal phone discussion of solid waste
importation plans.", November 16, 2005.
Knaebe, M. Small Diameter Woods, USDA Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory,
"Informal phone and e-mail discussion of economic uses for Pinyon and Juniper
Thinnings", November 4, 2005.
LeVan-Green, S. and J. Livingston. “Exploring the Uses for Small-Diameter Trees.”
Journal of Forest Products. Volume 51, No. 9, September 2001.
Lloyd, M. Manager, Lincoln County Power District, "Informal phone discussion of
pinyon-juniper use for electrical power generation.", October 21, 2005.
McNeil Technologies Inc. "Final Report: Development of a Green Power Program Using
Biomass from the Lake Tahoe Basin." Nevada Tahoe Conservation District,
Western Regional Biomass Energy Program. 2000.
Maker, T. M. "Wood-Chip Heating Systems: A Guide for Institutional and Commercial
Biomass Installations." Biomass Energy Resource Center. 2004.
72
Murdoch, J. Engineer, Mt. Wheeler Power, "Informal phone discussion of pinyon-juniper
use for production of electrical energy", September 9, 2005.
New Mexico Small Business Development Center.” Success Story: Mountainair - A
Best-in-Class Provider of Signage", 2005. Success Story: Santa Clara - Gila
WoodNet: an ecological forest products company. Santa Fe, New Mexico, New
Mexico Small Business Development Center.
Noble, Bob. “Informal discussion of Pinyon-Juniper contracting work in Lincoln and
White Pine County.” Advanced Grinding Services. December 28, 2005.
Oxy-fuel News Price Report." Fuel Ethanol Terminal Market Price - 18 Month History",
Hart Publications, 2005.
Rake, L. "Water for New Town Flows to Lobbyist", Weekend Edition. Las Vegas, 2005.
Resource Concepts. "Pinyon-Juniper Biomass Utilization Study for Lincoln County,
Nevada." September 2004.
Saiz, D. "Informal discussion of biomass heating possibilities.”. Facility Supervisor, Ely
Nevada State Prison, December 16, 2005.
Tausch, R. “Informal discussion of characteristics of and uses for Pinyon Juniper.”
Supervisory Ranch Scientist, United States Forest Service. November 14, 2005.
Thomas, M. G., and D. R. Schumann. "Income Opportunities in Special Forest Products:
Self-Help Suggestions for Rural Entrepreneurs." Agriculture Information Bulletin,
AIB-666, United State Department of Agriculture. Washington, D.C. 1993
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Lab?” Reno Gazette Journal. Reno, Nevada, 2005.
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Laboratory. 1991.
73
CHAPTER V:
ESTIMATES OF AVAILABLE PINYON-JUNIPER
HARVEST
74
Estimates of the Available Pinyon-Juniper Harvest
Previous estimates of the total area of pinyon-juniper forests in all of Nevada set
the value at about 9 million acres (Intertech, 2005; Ffolloit, et al., 1999). Estimates of
available supplies in White Pine and Lincoln counties range from 10.8 million acres to
3.6 million acres (Intertech, 2005). Most professionals, however, appear to believe that
the Nevada Gap Analysis Project (GAP) figures greatly underestimate the actual supply
of pinyon-juniper available in these two counties.
The value of 9 million quoted by Ffolloit, et al (1999) come from Born, Tymco
and Casey (1992) and includes values for pinyon-juniper woodlands that are in private
hands. It also includes non-pinyon-juniper species (mostly mountain mahogany, but that
is only about 2% of the total) (Born, et al., 1992). The more appropriate estimate for
Nevada would be about 8.24 million acres. The Nevada GAP project, however, estimates
about 7.11 million acres of total pinyon-juniper for the state. It is not known if this figure
includes private land or not. Born, et al. (1992), exclude areas of limited or prohibited
access (Death Valley National Monument, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the
Nevada Test Site and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge) and list pinyon-juniper
amounts for the Great Basin National Park in a separate category. Again, it is not known
if the GAP project also excluded theses areas.
The data from which Born, et al. (1992) drew their figures comes a sample-based
inventory using map data, aerial photo interpretation and field samples. Map and aerial
data were samples using 1,000 m2 plots (Born, et al., 1992). The data from the GAP
Project used a resolution of 30 m2. Because of the higher resolution, it is believed that
the GAP Project provides better data.
The GAP Project split pinyon-juniper woodlands into six sub-categories based on
predominant species and the amount of canopy cover. These categories are listed in
Table 18. In this analysis, all six categories were combined to arrive at the 7.11 million
figure quoted above. Of that amount, pinyon and pinyon-juniper forests covering 30 to
60% (Pinyon 2 and Pinyon-Juniper 2) comprised almost 90% of the total acreage.
75
Table 18. GAP Classification Categories
Classification
Description
Juniper 1
Predominant species is Utah juniper with canopy cover
less than 30%
Juniper 2
Predominant species is Utah juniper with canopy cover
from 30 to 60%
Pinyon 1
Predominant species is single leaf pinyon with canopy
cover less than 30%
Pinyon 2
Predominant species is single leaf pinyon with canopy
cover from 30 to 60%
Pinyon-juniper 1
Co-dominant species are single leaf pinyon and Utah
juniper with canopy cover less than 30%
Pinyon-juniper 2
Co-dominant species are single leaf pinyon and Utah
juniper with canopy cover from 30 to 60%
76
The amounts estimated for pinyon-juniper in Lincoln and White Pine Counties
also appear to be overestimated. Born, et al. (1992) estimates 1.939 million acres of
pinyon-juniper in White Pine County and 1.738 million acres in Lincoln County. This
totals to 3.678 million acres for both counties. It is suspected that Morris (Intertech,
2005) made this estimate based on the Born et al. (1992) data. The GAP Project,
however, estimates that White Pine has a total of 1.237 million acres and Lincoln has
0.849 million acres for a total of 2.087 million acres (Table 19). This estimate is
approximately two-thirds of the Born et al. (1992) estimate.
The data from Born, et al. predates 1992. The data supplied by the Nevada Gap
Project came from the Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (1996).
Therefore the data does not represent changes that have affected the pinyon-juniper
woodlands in the past nine years. How much additional growth that has occurred is
unknown. However, Born, et al. (1992) in their survey estimated that annual growth for
pinyon-juniper woodlands was about 1%. Pinyon was increasing twice as fast as juniper.
In addition, Nye County has about one million acres of pinyon-juniper. However,
it was not determined how much of the coverage was in the eastern part of the county.
Available Volume
Ffolloit, Gottfried and Kruse (1999) state that the average yield of pinyon-juniper
woodlands in Nevada is about 6.5 cords per acre. This yields about 464 ft3 (17.2 yd3) per
acre in volume (Ffolliott, et al., p 254). The weight of a cord of wood is 1.2 short tons
(2400 lbs). On average, each acre of pinyon-juniper forest contains 7.8 tons of biomass
material (Intertech, p 4).
The above is total biomass per acre available. However, the actual amount will be
less since the forests are to be thinned, not clear cut. Two factors will affect the amount
of biomass that is available for harvesting. One will be the rate of growth of the P-J
woodlands over the past 9 years. The other will be the rate at which the woodlands are
thinned. Table 20 lists the volume available cross-tabulating the thinning rate with the
growth rate. Thinning rates are analyzed at 10%, 20%, 25%, 30%, 40% and 50% and
77
growth rates from 0 %to 5% (with 10% and 20% rates also included). The analysis uses
the GAP Project data. Table 21 does the same cross-tabulation by volume.
Table 19. Pinyon-Juniper Coverage in Lincoln and White Pine Counties
County
Total Area (acres)
P-J Coverage (acres) % Coverage
Lincoln
6,808,697
849,172
12.47%
White Pine
5,694,155
1,237,624
21.74%
Total
12,502,852
2,086,796
16.69%
78
Table 20. Estimates by Volume
Cubic Yards of Biomass (000) Available
Growth
Rate (%)
10
20
25
30
40
50
0
3,589
7,179
8,973
10,768
14,357
17,946
1
3,926
7,851
9,814
11,777
15,702
19,628
2
4,290
8,579
10,724
12,868
17,158
21,448
3
4,683
9,366
11,708
14,049
18,733
23,416
4
5,109
10,217
12,771
15,326
20,435
25,543
5
5,568
11,136
13,920
16,704
22,273
27,841
10
8,463
16,926
21,158
25,390
33,853
42,316
20
18,520
37,040
46,300
55,560
74,080
92,600
Clearance Rate (%)
Table 21. Estimates by Weight
Tons of Biomass (000) Available
Growth
Rate (%)
10
20
25
30
40
50
0
4,307
8,614
10,768
12,921
17,229
21,536
1
4,711
9,421
11,777
14,132
18,843
23,553
2
5,147
10,295
12,869
15,442
20,590
25,737
3
5,620
11,240
14,049
16,860
22,479
28,099
4
6,130
12,261
15,326
18,391
24,522
30,652
5
6,682
13,364
16,704
20,045
26,727
33,409
10
10,156
20,312
25,390
30,468
40,624
50,780
20
22,224
44,448
55,560
66,672
88,896
111,120
Clearance Rate (%)
79
At a thinning rate of 50%, the expected volume available will be about 20 to 30
million yds3 or 25 to 35 million tons of biomass. The rate of growth that Born, et al.
(1992) estimated may actually be greater. There seems to be a consensus that the amount
of pinyon-juniper is growing fairly rapidly. However, there are no estimates available
except for those provided by Born, et al. (1992).
Further Considerations
The data available is relatively old. Additional data is required for improved
estimates of the actual amount of pinyon-juniper available. Conversion values for the
volume and weight of chipped pinyon-juniper need to be validated. There is a possibility
that the weight is overstated. The actual amount removed in thinning operations needs to
be pinpointed. Additional data would decrease the variability of estimates of the
potential pinyon-juniper harvest.
Another consideration is the possibility of expanding the source area into Nye
County. The GAP Project estimates slightly more than 1 million acres of pinyon-juniper
in Nye County but the location and distribution is not known. Born, et al. (1992))
estimate about 1.55 million acres of pinyon-juniper in Nye County. As seen in Figure 14,
much of this appears to be located in the eastern portion of the county although actual
acreage amounts are not given (Born, et al., 1992).
An additional consideration that is not addressed here is to include parts of
Western Utah as a potential source of pinyon-juniper biomass. The vegetation landscape
for Eastern Nevada and Western Utah are similar. O’Brien and Woudenberg (1999)
discuss the abundance of pinyon-juniper in Utah. Mitchell and Roberts (1999) employed
maps of the pinyon-juniper forests in Utah. They use two different mapping surveys to
estimate area from both surveys. However, the distributions of pinyon-juniper are
different for each survey. Both studies seem to indicate larger areas of pinyon-juniper in
southwestern Utah, particularly in Beaver, Iron and Washington counties.
In summation, the actual amount of biomass available maybe smaller and will
depend on how much of the acreage is actually thinned. Most of the thinning will be
done by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Currently, projections by the BLM in
Ely are to thin 5,800 acres over the next five years. At an estimated yield of
80
Figure 14. Woodland Available in Eastern Nevada
Grey = Woodland
Black = Timberland
Crosshatch= Restricted/Prohibited Areas
Source: Born, et al, p 9.
81
approximately seven tons (7 tons) of biomass per acre, this would mean that 40 to 45
thousand tons will be available over the five year span or an average of 8 to 9 thousand
tons will be available per year. However, these averages are highly variable due to
uncertainties of future federal budget funding for the BLM and potential legal actions by
environmental and/or other groups. Without legal problems and given enough federal
budgetary support, it is expected that the amount of biomass available will increase in the
future (Coombs, 2005).
A supply of approximately 9,000 tons per year would not necessarily be available
for start-up enterprises in Lincoln County or White Pine County. Current thinning
projects have had no surplus output because private contractors have absorbed the surplus
amount. One contractor is reprocessing the chips in Cedar City, Utah and reselling the
pinyon-juniper biomass as mulch. A second contractor is supplying biomass to the
“Fuels for School” program in Ely. Interest in future output has appeared from an
Oregon company and a company in Susanville, California that produces biomass power
(Coombs, 2005). Therefore, there would be a great amount of competition for a
relatively limited supply. Currently, Honey Lake Power is operating at one-third of its
capacity due to the lack of biomass supply (Lassen County, 2005).
If feasibility studies of potential uses of pinyon-juniper resources in Lincoln and
White Pine Counties are initiated, a detailed study of potential pinyon-juniper supplies in
Lincoln and White Pine counties needs to be completed. Also, the probability of a stable
supply of pinyon-juniper for a number of years needs to be estimated for a multi-year
feasibility study.
82
REFERENCES
Born, J.D., R.P. Tymco and O.E.Casey, Nevada Forest Resources, United States
Department of Agriculture, Intermountain Research Station, Resource Bulletin
INT-76, 1992.
Coombs, C. Phone conversation and e-mail communications. Fire Management
Specialist/Fuels Program in the BLM Field Office, 2005.
Ffolliott, P.F., G.J.Gottfried and W.H.Kruse. “Past, Present and Potential Utilization of
Pinyon-Juniper Species”, in S.B. Monsen and R. Stevens, compilers,
Proceedings, ecology and management of Pinyon-juniper communities within the
interior West, Proceedings RMRS: P9, pp 146-154, 1999.
Intertech Services Corporation. Industrial Utilization of Pinyon-Juniper Biomass
Resulting From Thinning Treatments in White Pine and Lincoln Counties,
Nevada: Business Considerations, Carson City, NV, 2005.
Lassen County Board of Supervisors. Lassen County Board of Supervisors Regular
Session, February 8, 2005.
Mitchell, J. E. and T. C. Roberts. “Distribution of Pinyon-Juniper in the Western United
States”, in S.B. Monsen and R. Stevens, compilers, Proceedings, ecology and
management of Pinyon-juniper communities within the interior West, Proceedings
RMRS: P9, pp 146-154, 1999.
Nevada GAP Project, www.brrc.unr.edu/mtn/html/ref/gapref.html
O’Brien, R.A. and S.W. Woudenberg. “Description of Pinyon-Juniper and Juniper
Woodlands in Utah and Nevada from an Inventory Perspective”, in S.B. Monsen
and R. Stevens, compilers, Proceedings, ecology and management of Pinyonjuniper communities within the interior West, Proceedings RMRS: P9, pp 146154, 1999.
83
CHAPTER VI:
SUMMARY AND SUGGESTED ACTIONS
84
Summary and Suggested Actions
The University Center for Economic Development conducted a study estimating
potential industrial demands for pinyon-juniper resources in Lincoln and White Pine
Counties of Nevada. This study was sponsored by the Lincoln County Regional
Development Authority through funding provided by the Nevada Commission on
Economic Development through U.S. Forest Service Grant 02-26-12-NFP-03 and the
U.S. Economic Development Administration through its University Center Program. This
publication is divided into four sections:
Chapter I provides a general introduction,
Chapter II gives an overview of socio-economic data and trends of Lincoln County,
Chapter III estimates the potential industrial demands for pinyon-juniper resources, and
Chapter IV provides an overview of available pinyon-juniper resources in Lincoln and
White Pine Counties.
General Introduction, Survey Results, and Procedures to Form a Pinyon-Juniper
Economic Cluster
•
Counties and communities are searching for new and alternative economic
development and diversification strategies to promote local economic activity and
stability. One potential strategy for economic activity and stability in Lincoln and
White Pine Counties of Nevada is the industrial development of local pinyonjuniper resources.
•
A biomass industrial cluster could be formed in Lincoln and White Pine Counties
which focuses on industrial uses of local pinyon-juniper resources.
•
To form an efficient and effective pinyon-juniper industrial cluster, industrial
pinyon-juniper supplying and demanding sectors must be identified in Lincoln
and White Pine Counties and counties adjacent these two Nevada counties.
•
Biomass energy may be used for electric power generation, space heating,
cogeneration of heat and electricity, or for ethanol and other liquid bio-fuels. In
2004, the amount of biomass energy used in the United States was 2,845 trillion
Btus or approximately 2.9% of total energy consumption in the United States. Of
85
the 2,845 trillion Btus, about 2,000 trillion Btus were supplied by wood energy.
Close to 60% of energy supplied by wood biomass was used in pulp and paper
industry operations for cogeneration in 2003. Although biomass energy
represented only a small proportion of the current total energy consumption in the
United States, biomass energy represented almost half of the total renewable
energy supply.
•
Over the period from 1949 to 2004 total U.S. energy consumption has risen 212%
from 32.0 to 99.7 quadrillion Btu. Over the same period U.S. energy production
has risen by 122% from 31.7 to 70.4 quadrillion Btu. The excess of consumption
over production is accounted for by net imports. Total renewable energy
production includes hydroelectric, geothermal, solar, wind, wood and biomass
and is equal to renewable energy consumption. Renewable energy has risen by
106% over the same period from 3.0 to 6.1 quadrillion Btu.
•
In 1949, biomass energy including wood and waste materials made up almost 5%
of total U.S. energy production. This decreased to a low in 1971 and 1972 of
2.3% of total energy production. After two oil shocks in the 1970s and changes in
energy regulations, biomass energy production increased to 4.4% of total energy
production in 1983. Since 1983 biomass energy production has fluctuated
between 4.4% to 3.7% of total energy production.
•
When comparing nominal direct price for a million Btu of energy for different
fuel sources from 1970 to 2001 wood competes with coal as a cheap source of
energy, particularly for electrical generation and industrial or commercial use.
Coal is abundant and more energy dense than wood. Wood is abundant also, but
typically harvested over a larger acreage than is coal. These factors tend to
increase the cost of harvesting and transporting wood fuels in relation to mining
and transporting coal. In addition, generating plants for producing electrical
energy with fossil fuels are usually less costly in terms of initial capital costs and
operation and maintenance. However, wood residues leftover from primary
production may be available at very low or even negative prices since there may
be a cost to dispose of the wood residues. Paper and lumber mills may use the
energy on the same site that is being using to process the lumber or paper for both
86
electrical energy and heat. This type of wood energy use typically has already
been exploited and represents the largest proportion of wood energy use in the
United States today. In a similar manner, wood residues may also be available at
lower cost when collection and transportation of the wood residue serves other
socially desirable goals such as the reduction of fire risks or increase in forest
health, as may be the case in Lincoln and White Pine counties in Nevada. In this
case, government entities such as the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S.
Forest Service may produce wood fuels as a byproduct of these other goals. An
additional market in which wood may successfully compete is as a fuel to replace
current and future expensive natural gas or other expensive fuels for space
heating.
•
The environmental benefits of using biomass wastes may mean increased use in
the future. Because coal as a competing energy source will often be a lower cost
option than wood, demand for wood energy may be driven more by
environmental considerations than by such factors as higher prices for oil. In
addition to being a renewable energy source, environmental benefits of biomass
energy include lower sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions
when compared to coal.
•
Any regulations adopted that increase renewable energy portfolio requirements
for electricity generation will very likely increase the demand for wood energy
and the prices paid for wood fuels. Nevada currently has a renewable energy
portfolio law that requires that 20% of all electricity sales be derived from
renewables by the year 2015. These energy portfolio requirements may increase
future demands for pinyon-juniper resources in Lincoln and White Pine counties.
•
Energy production is projected by 2025 to rise by about 0.7% a year to 82.7
quadrillion Btu with the shortfall in energy needs met by rising imports.
Renewable energy consumption, which is assumed to be equal to renewable
energy production, is forecast to rise about 1.5% per year at a slightly higher rate
than consumption is predicted to rise. Total renewable production in 2025 is
predicted to be 8.1 quadrillion Btu.
87
•
In the summer of 2005 and using survey procedures outlined by Dillman (2000),
businesses in Lincoln and White Pine Counties were surveyed as to their
understanding of wildfire hazards with pinyon-juniper and potential use of
pinyon-juniper as an energy resource.
•
Approximately 42% of the respondents replied that they were not familiar with
wildfire issues of pinyon-juniper. However approximately 17% were very familiar
of the wildfire issue and pinyon-juniper. If one of the premises for pinyon-juniper
harvesting is to reduce combustible sources for rangeland fires, there seems to be
a need for more education. With sufficient education on the need for pinyonjuniper harvesting to reduce wildfires, there may be potential to increase
commercial and energy demand for pinyon-juniper resources.
•
Questionnaire results also showed that only 12.5% of respondents would consider
use of pinyon-juniper to produce their own electricity. However with current
energy price increases, the response to alternative fuels such as pinyon-juniper
biomass as an energy source may increase.
•
As an economic development alternative, pinyon-juniper harvesting falls within
the definition of industrial cluster economic development. Biomass industrial
development is an industrial cluster because pinyon-juniper biomass potentially
has numerous interlinked local economic sectors, such as housing, electric power
plants, industrial parks, and etc.
•
Clusters are geographic concentrations of interconnected companies that work
closely with each other, local suppliers, infrastructure providers, educational
institutions, government agencies, and other relevant business groups. Clusterdevelopment is based on the premise that a company (and their regions) can
realize higher levels of competitiveness when it looks beyond its own limited
capacity and strategically partners with other companies to support institutions to
address challenges and solve problems that it is unable to solve when operating in
isolation. It is a strategy that encourages companies who compete to come
together and identify ways in which they can cooperate to their mutual benefit.
•
Having identified a competitive cluster, how does a cluster development get
organized and supported? Support for a cluster can be provided in many ways.
88
First, a cluster champion must be identified. This person would be a conduit for
cluster activity. The champion must have knowledge of the industry. The
champion is also the primary link to other clusters that may be identified in
Lincoln and White Pine counties. Therefore the second necessary activity for
cluster development and maintenance is networking. Networking is key for
successful cluster development. Networking is the process through which
relationships are built, trust is established, and new ideas are generated.
Overview of Lincoln and White Pine Counties
•
From Table 3, the population for Lincoln County declined from 3,983 in 1996 to
3,822 in 2004 or a 4.04% decrease in population over eight years. However, this
population decrease was not uniform across the county. The Lincoln County
communities of Alamo and Panaca realized population growth from 1996 to 2004.
However, the community of Caliente and Pioche and the Rest of Lincoln County
realized population decreases from 1996 to 2004.
•
The decrease in population growth in Lincoln County did not follow overall state
of Nevada population growth which grew by 42.11% over the same eight years.
•
The decrease in unemployment in 2004 hides the true dynamics within the
Lincoln County labor market. Number of employed persons who live in Lincoln
County increased from 1,048 in 1999 to 1,697 in 2002. However, the labor force
in Lincoln County declined from 1,785 in 2002 to 1,564 in 2004 or a 12.38%
decrease in labor force over two years. One primary reason for the stabilization in
unemployment rate in Lincoln County from 2003 to 2004 is not elevated county
economic activity, but the county workforce leaving the county.
•
National per capita income in 2003 was $31,472, which was 1.37% less than the
state per capita income value ($31,910) and 52.47% greater than the Lincoln
County per capita income value ($20,641). Also the growing influence and
impact of elderly in a national, state, and county economy is indicated by the
proportionate share of personal income from dividends, interest, and rents; and
transfer payments. These sources are primarily earned by the retired portion of a
nation’s, state’s, and/or county’s population. For the nation, dividends, interests,
and rents; and transfer payments make up approximately 31% of total earned
89
personal income, which for the state of Nevada and Lincoln County is
approximately 31% and 42%, respectively.
•
Lincoln County’s low per capita income and heavy reliance on dividends,
interests, and rents; and transfer payments indicate that alternative economic
development strategies are needed for Lincoln County.
•
A final unique characteristic of Lincoln County is the amount of county acreage
administered by the federal and state governments. The federal government
administers approximately 98% of the land in Lincoln County, with the Bureau of
Land Management managing approximately 83.04% of total Lincoln County
acreage. The state government of Nevada administers approximately 18,802
acres or 0.28% of total Lincoln County land mass. A unique feature of Lincoln
County as opposed to other Nevada counties is that Lincoln County has five state
parks. Therefore, both federal and state governments can play an important part in
the successful development and execution of any Lincoln County strategic
economic development plan through their administration of federal and state
lands.
•
From Table 8, the population for White Pine County declined from 10,134 in
1996 to 8,966 in 2004 or an 11.53% decrease in population over eight years.
However, this population decrease was not uniform across the county. The
Lincoln County communities of Ely, Lund, McGill, and Ruth realized population
declines from 1996 to 2004. However, the Rest of White Pine County realized
population increases from 1996 to 2004.
•
However the decrease in population growth in White Pine County did not follow
overall state of Nevada population growth which grew by 42.11 percent over the
same eight years.
•
The erratic unemployment rate for White Pine County is also evident in other
White Pine County labor statistics. White Pine County labor force increased from
3,457 in 1999 to 3,772 in 2000, decreased in 2001 to 3,655, increased once again
to 3,837 in 2002, decreased once again to 3,710 in 2001, and finally increased to
3,911 in 2004. This volatility in the labor force is a result of the White Pine
90
County economy being heavily dependent upon the natural industries (agriculture
and mining).
•
National per capita income in 2003 was $31,472, which was 1.37% less than the
state per capita income value ($31,910) and 19.08% greater than the White Pine
County per capita income value ($26,429). Also the growing influence and
impact of elderly in a national, state, and county economy is indicated by the
proportionate share of personal income from dividends, interest, and rents; and
transfer payments. These sources are primarily earned by the retired portion of a
nation’s, state’s, and/or county’s population. For the nation, dividends, interests,
and rents and transfer payments make up approximately 31% of total earned
personal income, which for the state of Nevada and White Pine County is
approximately 31% and 31%, respectively.
•
White Pine County’s low per capita income and heavy reliance on natural
resource industries indicate that alternative economic development strategies are
needed for Lincoln County.
•
A final unique characteristic of White Pine County is the amount of county
acreage administered by the federal and state governments. The federal
government administers approximately 94 percent of the land in White Pine
County, with the Bureau of Land Management managing approximately 77.50%
of total Lincoln County acreage. The state government of Nevada administers
approximately 9,119 acres or 0.16% of total White Pine County Therefore, both
federal and state governments can play an important part in the successful
development and execution of any White Pine County strategic economic
development plan through their public land management policies.
Potential Industrial Demands for Pinyon-Juniper Resources
•
The following are a list of potential industrial uses and demands for pinyonjuniper resources. These results would provide input into any detailed feasibility
analysis of a pinyon-juniper industrial application.
•
The most promising avenues for entrepreneurs in White Pine and Lincoln
Counties may be to either serve local needs for landscape types of products or to
develop a specialized niche market in this type of product. Higher value products
91
typically require increased processing. For example, bark can be separated from
the wood to produce a more consistent looking product, chips can be sorted by
size or chips can be dyed an attractive color. Bagging wood mulch materials can
also add significant value. Bark separation is likely not economically feasible for
pinyon-juniper from thinning operations, but bagging, sorting and dying the chips
may be. In fact, one company from Cedar City, Utah using the U.S. Stewardship
Program to assist in covering transportation costs has reportedly already been able
to make use of the pinyon-juniper chips in this way. Niche products typically have
added value from extra processing, not all of which are possible with the pinyonjuniper resources. The added value makes the marketplace that can feasibly be
served much larger because the higher value can justify higher shipping costs. If a
feasibility analysis is completed analyzing opportunities for pinyon-juniper
chips, the U.S. Stewardship Program needs to be explored thoroughly. This
federal program could make such a business endeavor feasible.
•
Local demands for landscaping mulch are currently limited. However a
potential feasibility study of a local landscaping mulch industry would need
to incorporate the future demands of the Coyote Springs and LCLA housing
developments. The county could work with these housing developers to
encourage use of local landscaping mulch used in the Coyote Springs and LCLA
housing developments.
•
Space heating using wood energy is a traditional and viable use for the pinyonjuniper resource. A local example of this type of use would be the Ely Fuels to
Schools program. Space heating projects typically have a better payback period
than do electrical generating or co-generation activities. Increasing the energy
density of the wood chips through making pellets or charcoal increases the value
of the resource and the distance that the product can economically be shipped.
Current wood pellet prices around the country ranged from $120 per ton to $300
per ton. A feasibility study of potential uses of pinyon-juniper for space
heating would also require investigation of the U.S. Stewardship Program
which could assist in reducing transportation costs.
92
•
Even with forecasted population growth in Southern Nevada, using wood for
biomass energy is considered to be at the bottom of the value added scale for uses
of small diameter wood. If it is feasible, a much larger value can normally be
obtained by using wood for any type of lumber, engineered wood product, wood
composite or sometimes even mulch material. Pinyon-juniper wood wastes,
however, may be difficult to process economically for these uses. Currently, very
low electricity costs in the region mean that electric generation from the burning
of wood chips may not be cost effective, even when “green energy” credits are
taken into account. A feasibility study for electric power generation would
quantify these suggested problems.
•
Demand for wood wastes for use in co-firing is quite high. Co-firing is the
burning of biomass in combination with coal or other fuels. Usually only a small
proportion (less than 15 percent) of the total energy inputs in co-firing come from
wood waste sources, but for large plants this still produces an enormous demand
for biomass. Co-firing is desirable because it can reduce pollutants such as sulfur
dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Using a small percentage of wood biomass for cofiring may be an option for the new coal burning power plant being planned in the
Ely area. Also, a new power plant is also being planned at the Toquop site. The
Toquop site at the far southern end of Lincoln County may not be ideally located
for cheap transportation of the wood chips. A feasibility analysis of the potential
of co-firing uses of pinyon-juniper would need to incorporate the U.S.
Stewardship Program and how this program could reduce transportation
costs for this industrial venture.
•
Special placement for electric co-generation plant that allows for the production
of both heat and electricity on-site represents one of the more desirable uses of the
pinyon-juniper wood chips for electrical energy generation. Locating cogeneration at the end of distribution lines greatly reduces the amount of electricity
that must be sent down the distribution and can increase reliability. Given the
forecasted growth in Southern Nevada and the potential growth from the housing
developments of Coyote Springs and LCLA development area, special placements
for electric co-generation plants might be a viable alternative. Biomass plants also
93
may have attributes relating to renewable energy, global warming and carbon
sequestration, energy independence and security provided by decentralized energy
which make its energy more desirable and worth more money per kilowatt hour.
Partly because of these attributes, grants may be available to help with start-up
costs. Additionally, the Chair in the Department of Resource Economics at
the University of Nevada, Reno headed the Toledo-Wren Case Study for
Bonneville Power Administration that investigated the feasibility of special
placement of electric co-generation plants. Dr. Englin’s expertise in the
feasibility of special placement for electric co-generation plants may be an
avenue of discussion for the Lincoln County Regional Development
Authority.
•
One possible use for pinyon and juniper wood chips produced by thinning
operations on public land is heating of public buildings in Lincoln and White Pine
counties. The Fuels for Schools demonstration site has already been established in
Ely, Nevada at Norman Elementary School. Grants paid for approximately
$600,000 of the $1,000,000 conversion cost. Costs included a biomass boiler with
a heating capacity of 3 to 4.2 million Btu/hour, an automatic chip delivery system,
a steam to hot water heat exchanger, an electronic control system with diagnostic
software, a fire suppression system as well as a new building to house the system.
A pellet business has not committed to either Lincoln County or White Pine
County. Speculation as to the absence of a pellet business investment is that there
exists a lack of information as to long-term pinyon-juniper chip supply. Long
term supply guarantees, chip quality, storage and transport are issues that should
be carefully examined for any other potential conversion project.
•
Potential demand for biomass heating in some of the public buildings in Lincoln
and White Pine counties was investigated. Included in the survey were the
Lincoln and White Pine County court houses, school districts and medical centers
and the Nevada State Prison in Ely. Survey results indicated a somewhat limited
interest in conversion. A detailed feasibility study might provide information as to
possible barriers to conversion and potential governmental grants or loans that
94
might provide financial incentive to convert to pinyon-juniper biomass energy
source.
•
Other areas for suggested feasibility analysis for potential uses of the local
pinyon-juniper resource are composites, water filters, wood ethanol, ethanol from
wood and solid wastes, and mobile bio-power plants.
•
Lastly for any feasibility analysis of potential industrial endeavors using local
pinyon-juniper resources, a detailed analysis of the Bureau of Land
Management and United States Forest Service using stewardship contracts to
link land management goals of the Healthy Forests Initiative to economic
development and other local needs in surrounding communities needs to be
investigated. The contracts generally allow a private company, non-profit or
local government entity to keep the forest products produced in exchange for
services such as thinning, processing or removing excess fuels produced by forest
health projects. These contracts have been used to pay the transportation cost of
removal of pinyon-juniper chips. There is a special encouragement of nonprofit and local government participation in these stewardship contracts.
Contracts are awarded on a so-called “best value basis” and should meet dual
goals of increasing forest health and meeting local community needs. The
contracts do not need to be based solely on revenue generation. Local examples
of stewardship contracting include the Ely Fuels to Schools Project and the
removal of pinyon-juniper chips from the Mt. Wilson thinning project to a
Cedar City, Utah company that dyes the chips for use as a landscaping
material. Private companies are also contracting with the BLM for carrying out
pinyon-juniper thinning in the region.
Estimates of the Available Pinyon-Juniper Harvest
•
For any feasibility analysis of potential pinyon-juniper ventures in Lincoln
County, an accurate estimation of current and future stream flows of pinyonjuniper supplies needs to be conducted. Potentially the actual amount of biomass
available will depend on how much of the acreage is actually thinned. Most of
the thinning will be done by the BLM.
95
•
Currently, projections by the BLM in Ely are to thin 5,800 acres over the next five
years. At an estimated yield of approximately seven tons (7 tons) of biomass per
acre, this would yield between 40 to 45 thousand tons over the five year span or
an average of 8 to 9 thousand tons annually. However, these averages are highly
variable due to uncertainties due to future federal budget funding for the BLM
and potential legal actions by environmental and/or other groups. Without legal
problems and given enough federal budgetary support, it is expected that the
amount of biomass available will increase in the future. The Lincoln County
Regional Development Authority might investigate how it can claim some of this
future supply for potential pinyon-juniper biomass ventures.
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APPENDIX A:
PINYON-JUNIPER BUSINESS SURVEY
97
1. Which of the following industries best describes that of your company/business? (check one)
Agriculture
Mining
Manufacturing
Construction
Transportation
Commercial
Utilities
Trade
Finance
Insurance
Real Estate
Services
Governmental
Other: (please specify) __________________________
2. What ownership type is currently used? (check one)
Sole Proprietor
Partnership
S-Corporation
C-Corporation
LLC
Other: (please specify) __________________________
3. What is your position in this company? (check one)
Owner
Manager
Accounting
Marketing
Other: (please specify) ___________________________
4. Are you the decision maker for gas/electricity purchases? (check one)
Yes (go to 6)
No
5. If you answered “no” to the previous question, how is the decision made?
6. Who is your gas/electricity provider? (check one)
Lincoln County Power District
Mt. Wheeler Power
Other: (please specify) ____________________________
7. On a scale of 1-10, please rank how familiar are you with the Pinyon-Juniper woodland’s wildfire issue, with
the value of 1 as “very familiar” and the value of 10 as “not familiar at all”.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
98
8. In the following table, on a scale of 1-5, please rank how familiar you are with Pinyon-Juniper biomass
applications, with the value of 1 as “very familiar” and the value of 5 as “not familiar at all”, by circling the
appropriate number.
Application
1. Electric generation application
2. Co-firing application
3. Space and process heating application
4. Chemical and fuel applications
5. Densification
6. Other uses: _____________________
Very
Familiar
1
1
1
1
1
1
Somewhat
Familiar
2
2
2
2
2
2
Not
Sure
3
3
3
3
3
3
Not Very
Familiar
4
4
4
4
4
4
Not Familiar
At All
5
5
5
5
5
5
9. To your knowledge, does your gas/electricity provider use Pinyon-Juniper biomass as an alternative energy
source? (check one)
Yes
No
10. Please list any issues you see in using Pinyon-Juniper biomass as an alternative gas/electricity source:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
11. What corrective actions would you suggest be taken to solve these issues:
Issue
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Corrective Action
12. Would you be willing to purchase gas/electricity if the provider uses Pinyon-Juniper biomass as an
alternative energy source in the future? (check one)
Yes
No, why: ______________________________________________________________________
13. In your company, what is the average monthly electricity bill? (check one)
$_________/month
Prefer not to answer
14. How many KWHs does you company consume monthly? (check one)
99
_________KWHs
Prefer not to answer
15. In the following table you will be given eight bids which represent the electricity charge in cents per KWH
should your electricity provider use Pinyon-Juniper biomass for partial electricity generation. Assume you
currently pay .060 cents/KWH. For each bid amount specify if you would definitely not be willing (1), probably
not be willing (2), not sure (3), probably be willing (4), or definitely be willing (5) to pay the electricity charge
(bid), by circling the appropriate number (1-5).
Bid Amount
1. .075/KWH
2. .120/KWH
3. .060/KWH
4. .080/KWH
5. .065/KWH
6. .100/KWH
7. .070/KWH
8. .090/KWH
Definitely No Probably No
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
1
2
Not sure
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
Probably Yes
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
4
Definitely Yes
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
5
16. Would your company consider using Pinyon-Juniper biomass to produce its own electricity? (check one)
Yes
No, why: ________________________________________________________________________
17. Would you company consider using Pinyon-Juniper biomass for other uses? (check all that apply)
Chips for landscaping
Other: _____________________
18. How many full-time employees does your company hire? (check one)
_____________ (number)
19. How many part-time employees does your company hire? (check one)
_____________ (number)
20. What are your company’s average net earnings per year? (check one)
$___________
Prefer not to answer
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