Canadian Biomass Magazine

The Canadian Bioheat Database is going online

May 11, 2023
By Jean Blair, TorchLight Bioresources

Graph: Torchlight Bioresources

The Canadian Bioheat Database, first developed in 2014 by TorchLight Bioresources with support from Natural Resources Canada-CanmetENERGY Ottawa, captures information about commercial, institutional and community biomass heating systems in the range of 50 kW to 5 MW thermal capacity. The purpose for creating the database was to support policy and program development by  federal, provincial, and territorial governments and to provide important sector information to the bioenergy industry and the general public.

Regular updates have permitted tracking of Canadian bioheat industry growth and trends over time. The sector has grown steadily since 2012 (see graph), with installations now represented in all provinces and territories, except Nunavut. In recent years, the number of biomass heating facilities owned by Indigenous communities and local governments has increased significantly. This has brought local control and regional benefits to community energy systems. A past version of the report summarizing trends and characteristics of the installations captured in the Bioheat Database, and the biomass fuels they use, can be found here.

This is the last year that CanmetENERGY plans to update Canadian Bioheat Database and hopes to transfer the responsibility of updating and maintenance of the database to key industrial stakeholders. As part of this year’s update, TorchLight is creating a website to host the Canadian Bioheat Database over the long-term, aiming to establish a system that keeps the database up-to-date in perpetuity while minimizing the human resources required for maintenance. The web-based approach will also allow the public to visualize and explore the data contained in the Canadian Bioheat Database.

TorchLight will be contacting past contributors to the Bioheat Database in the coming weeks with a request for assistance with the 2023 update, and for input on the design and maintenance of the new website.


If you are a project developer, or otherwise involved with biomass heating projects, and have not contributed to the Bioheat Database in the past, please contact me at to find out how you can participate.

Jean Blair is the director of planning and outreach for TorchLight Bioresources.

This article is part of the Bioheat Week 2023. Read more articles about bioheat in Canada.

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