Alternative Energy Development LLC

Energy. Better.

What we do helps the environment. Here's how.


What does AED do?

We responsibly harvest invasive tree species to use as a fuel source.

AED has harvest rights to more than 500,000 acres of timber in Texas, the vast majority of which is second-growth juniper (locally called “cedar”) and mesquite trees.

We will process this wood into chips or pellets, which can be used in place of coal in power plants.

Our fuel qualifies as “carbon neutral” in the European Union and so is in demand by EU power companies to help them meet mandated greenhouse gas reductions of 20% by 2020.

The industry predicts the global market will expand further, particularly as Asian countries look for alternatives to fossil fuels.

Our biomass is unique

Most commercial timberland is in the form of monoculture tree plantations, which often require inputs of fossil fuel and pesticides to maintain. There are also obvious drawbacks to growing biomass crops on land normally used for growing food.

Our biomass comes from existing juniper and mesquite trees, which have a low moisture content.

There are millions of acres of these native trees in Texas and their current density has negative impacts on the land because these trees:

  • often dominate the landscape as secondary growth where wildfires have been suppressed and grasslands have been over-grazed
  • are considered a critical and insidious infestation by the land owners since they hinder cattle and wildlife movement and shade out other native trees and grasses
  • create a fire hazard
  • limit the amount of rain water recharging the water table

Environmental comparisons

Unlike fossil fuels, our wood source is renewable.

Burning wood releases far less carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen into the atmosphere than burning fossil fuels, and our wood contains almost no sulfur and heavy metals, unlike coal.

Both mining coal and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to access natural gas deposits have detrimental environmental impacts that our responsible tree harvesting does not.

Vegetation that regrows on the land after the timber is harvested will uptake CO2 (a process called carbon sequestration), which offsets the carbon released when our wood chips and pellets are burned for energy. This makes our fuel close to “carbon-neutral” when viewed over the timeframe of a decade.

Our environmental standards

We strongly believe in practicing sustainable forestry and ensuring the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs — with an eye towards conserving soil, air and water quality, carbon, biological diversity, wildlife and aquatic habitats, recreation and aesthetics.

In accordance with Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards, we do not endorse the clear cutting of any species, nor removal of timber on steep hills or near riparian zones.

One way we will measure our adherence to responsible environmental stewardship is by getting continuous feedback from the landowners, who can decide to renew their contracts with us or not.

The logistics

In order to minimize the use of fossil fuel and keep transportation costs low, our plan is to develop small-scale local factories within a 50 mile radius of the tree cuttings.

These factories, where we will convert our trees into wood chips or pellets, will benefit the rural communities by providing good, “green” jobs.

When shipping to Europe, the next step is to transport the wood chips and/or pellets by rail to a port. From there they will be taken by freighter to the final market.