Canadian Biomass Magazine

Features Harvesting Sustainability
NB releases biomass resource maps


October 24, 2012
By New Brunswick Department of Energy & Mines

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October 24, 2012, Saint John, NB – A set of resource maps and an accompanying report were released by the government of New Brunswick showcasing potential locations to develop biomass resources for energy co-generation in the province.

"Our government is committed to achieving 40 per cent renewable energy generation by 2020, as laid out in the New Brunswick Energy Blueprint," said Energy and Mines Minister Craig Leonard. "By providing these maps, we are working to ensure that communities, developers and industry have the best tools possible when seeking out locations to develop and utilize this resource. These maps will be a huge benefit in helping us reach and promote our renewable energy goals."

The resources maps are combined into an atlas to show the potential energy represented by the province's forest. The atlas and report, Forest Biomass to Energy Atlas of New Brunswick, was produced by the K.C. Irving Chair in Sustainable Development at the Université de Moncton, in partnership with the Department of Energy and Mines, and show the annual potential energy of the forest biomass.

"The forest biomass is an indigenous and renewable resource in New Brunswick, which offers great opportunities for energy production and for economic growth in the province's rural areas," said Yves Gagnon, the K.C. Irving Chair.

Developed using existing annual allowable cut data of the forest industry, along with allometric equations and biomass expansion factors, the study provides an assessment of the forest residual biomass and bark from forestry operations that would be available on an annual basis for energy cogeneration. When converted into electricity and heat, the residual biomass and bark could be used to generate 463 MW of electricity and more than 1,100 MW of heat, distributed in 17 regions of the province.

The new biomass resource maps complement existing hydro, solar, and wind renewable resource maps and can be viewed, along with the report, on the Department of Energy and Mines website .

"By placing a greater focus on the development of our natural resources we will reduce the use of fossil fuels, as well as our carbon footprint," said Leonard. "Simply put, our biomass resources should be developed not only for its environmental attributes, but also for the social and economic benefits for the residents of the province."


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