Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The potential of forest biomass as an energy supply for Canada

by David Paré, Pierre Bernier, Evelyne Thiffault and Brian Titus
Canadian Forest Service

Forestry Chronicle (2011) 87: 72-76

There is a growing interest in using forest biomass as an energy source. The main objectives of this paper are to give some figures and perspectives on Canadian forest biomass supply with respect to Canada’s energy demand and to examine the potential of using this feedstock for reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Published estimates of forest biomass supply as harvest residues are reported and discussed. The range of estimates listed here indicates that this source of energy is important but that it is still a fraction of our energy demands. The potential of using this biomass to reduce our GHG emissions is strongly dependent, among other factors, on the technological pathways that are used, with direct heat production and combined heat and power (CHP) ranking amongst the best options available. The relative scarcity of the resource behooves us to use it efficiently.

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