Canadian Biomass Magazine

Virtual Event
Maritime Bioheat Conference
June 2, 2021 at 1:00pm ET

Remotely Powerful: Experiences of nine rural and remote communities with biomass energy

Sebnem Madrali, Ph.D., CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada
Jean Blair, Ph.D. 

This on-demand session will be highlighting key findings of a recent survey involving nine pioneering remote and rural communities and a summary of experiences with energy systems fueled with wood pellets. The survey was led by Jean Blair and Sebnem Madrali.  Jean Blair works as a consultant with extensive experiences in renewable and bioenergy domain, Sebnem Madrali works as an engineering project leads at Natural Resources Canada involved in R&D projects on heat and power generation from biomass and solid biofuels standards.

Large number of Canada’s 250 or so remote communities currently rely on diesel generators to produce their electricity, and,  oil, diesel or propane fuelled furnaces for their space heating and domestic hot water needs.  Modern bioenergy systems are one of the few clean and renewable options for displacing fossil fuels used to meet heating and electricity demand in remote northern communities. Several diesel-dependent communities across Canada’s north have recently adopted biomass heating or combined heat and power (CHP) technologies. This number is expected to grow in the near future. As the application of bioenergy in remote communities grows, it is important to gain a better understanding of what has worked, or not, in terms of fuel supply, technologies and system design in order to guide future efforts, and to help streamline the development of biomass heating and CHP in other communities.


Sebnem Madrali, Ph.D.,
Sebnem Madrali, Ph.D., is a senior research engineer at CanmetENERGY, Natural Resources Canada; her work focuses on advancing the development and implementation of heat and power generation from biomass and standardization of biomass fuels.

Jean Blair, Ph.D.
Jean Blair, Ph.D., is a consultant and postdoctoral researcher who has been involved in biomass and bioenergy research for the past ten years, including the creation and maintenance of NRCan’s Canadian Bioheat Database.

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