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Scott Jamieson Editorial: Solid Solutions

Forest biomass and pellets may not be a match made in heaven, but they do look pretty good together.

Written by Scott Jamieson   
Welcome to the first issue of Canadian Biomass, a forest sector supplement distributed as part of both Canadian Forest Industries and Canadian Wood Products magazines. There are two basic reasons for launching this supplement now – Time and space.

It’s definitely the right time. Biomass, bioenergy, biorefining – you name it and people want to know about it in Canada’s forestry sector and related government departments. With the industry in tough times and energy costs soaring, it makes sense. That’s why we kept running into Canadians (and Americans) on our trip to Sweden’s World Bioenergy 2008 in late May, and why these two groups made up the largest foreign contingent at the international show. We’re on the verge of a biomass explosion on this continent – mark my words. You can read more about this fantastic event starting on page 24.

As for space, we just don’t have enough space in our regular forestry magazines to do this emerging field justice, and maintain the industry coverage our readers expect. So consider this a bonus for our 20,000 plus industry readers.

Also in this first issue, you’ll read an interview with both Wood Pellet Association of Canada president John Swann and CanBio President Doug Bradley on the future for pellets in Canada (page 14). Not just making them, although we do a lot of that already, and will do a lot more in the near future. We also talk about domestic pellet markets, here and in the US. What strikes visitors to Scandinavia are the well-established biomass community heating plants, great ideas ahead of their time, but also expensive to duplicate here. Pellets, on the other hand, can be moved where the markets are, can be delivered and used just like home heating oil with refined technology already in use in Europe (see our World Bioenergy show review on page 28), and require no massive infrastructure investment. Only wood and marketing are required. Or if you want, they can be used to fuel local or remote community heating systems, as a uniform, forgiving fuel source. 

Finally, a little home-grown innovation in the form of Cyclofor. This Quebec biomass harvesting and processing company has developed its own equipment to do the job, and is looking at franchises across North America to spread the concept. We introduce them on page 18.

Enjoy this premier issue. We’ll do four a year, starting with another in December 2008. So let us know what you’d like us to cover, and pass this issue on to folks who may be interested.

Scott Jamieson, Editor/Group Publisher
Canadian Biomass
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