Vermont and the US Northeast leads in adoption of wood for heat energy - why is Canada so far behind?
European biomass professionals look at Canada from the outside and wonder why we are so far behind in using wood resources for energy. Our climate is cold and we have 20% of the world's forests. If you only count sustainably managed forest, Canada leads the world in total land area by very far.
So why do we keep subsidizing fossil fuels and demonizing harvesting trees?
The Biomass Energy Resource Cnetre in Vermont has incredible information and resources to press ahead in their region for adoption of wood energy. They've just released a couple of new guidelines directed at school and residential mangers. Great resources that we hope Canadian managers also get their hands on.
From tiny seedlings mighty cedars grow. Or, in this case, from $30,000 grows a $1.3-million biomass boiler that can heat a community. Heating an entire community and saving $130,000 a year and reducing their carbon output to 9 tonnes compared to the previous 300 tones.
Rentech is in the midst of negotiations with UK utility Drax to cancel its outstanding wood pellet shipments for 2017, which amount to 193,000 metric tonnes. This means that Canada has a production capacity of 193,000 tonnes of pellets for local heating.
The boiler system residing at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a little ways yet from operational, but as Alexandre Hebert explains, the system is much more than just a biomass boiler; it’s a learning tool.
The environment committee of the European Parliament (ENVI) is suggesting amendments to European Commission’s proposal on the use of energy from renewable sources (RED II), removing the option for countries that are not party to the Paris climate agreement to demonstrate sustainability of biomass at the forest holding level.
On the surface, biofuels seem more expensive than fossil fuels. A litre of ethanol costs more than a litre of gasoline. A ton of wood pellets costs more than a ton of coal. But is this a fair comparison?
The Baker administration plans to designate a fuel derived from felling trees and clearing brush in forests as a form of renewable energy. With all our forest, this would have great potential in Canada.