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New Brunswick forest has good potential for biomass power generation

A set of resource maps and an accompanying report have been released showing potential locations to develop biomass resources for energy co-generation in the province of New Brunswick.


November 6, 2012
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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A set of resource maps and an accompanying report have been released showing potential locations to develop biomass resources for energy co-generation in the province of New Brunswick.

The resource maps, in the form of an atlas, and the report, Forest Biomass to Energy Atlas of New Brunswick, were produced by the K.C. Irving Chair in Sustainable Development at the Université de Moncton, in partnership with the Department of Energy and Mines.

The report concludes that the total annual potential harvest of forest biomass in New Brunswick is 15.5 million green metric tonnes. Residual forest biomass would account for 27% of that total, bark for 10%, with the remaining 63% being merchantable wood.

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The report calculates that if all the residual forest biomass and bark harvested annually in to province was to be used as fuel input to dedicated combined heat and power (CHP) plants, a total of 463 MW(e) of electricity and 1111MW(th) of thermal heat could be produced.

According to the report, this potential biomass-based electrical power is equal to about one-third of New Brunswick’s electrical base load of nearly 1500 MW(e).

The authors conclude that New Brunswick’s forest biomass resource has good potential for energy production.

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.

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 at www.gnb.ca/energy.