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The Voice of Canada’s growing pellet sector
  • Video: Heating with Wood Pellets

    Heating with wood pellets is an effective way to help in the fight against climate change.

  • Video: Wood Pellet Association of Canada

    Existing coal plants can be cost-effectively repurposed to use wood pellet fuel to help the environment and reduce air pollution.

  • Pellets

    Made from renewable forest byproducts and unmerchantable material, wood pellets from Canada provide a renewable, sustainable fuel source for generations to enjoy. | Read More

  • Sustainable

    Only 9% of the world’s forest are certified. Over 42% of them are in Canada, making it an ideal source for sustainable wood pellets. | Read More

  • Renewable

    WPAC members rely on sawmill waste and forest harvest residuals for the bulk of their fibre supply, allowing 100% resource use. | Read More

  • Fossil Fuel Alternative

    Whether on their own or co-fired with coal, wood pellets provide a lower carbon footprint and renewable energy source. | Read More

  • Innovative

    WPAC continues to support R&D in key wood pellet areas like safety, efficiency, fuel stability, energy content and more. | Read More

pellets stock WPAC presentation

From Feb. 25-27, Gordon Murray, executive director of WPAC, attended the IEA Clean Coal Centre’s (IEACC) workshop on co-firing biomass with coal in Kokura, Japan, where the Wood Pellet Association of Canada was a platinum sponsor. Participants in this event included government agencies, regulators, power utilities, biomass and equipment suppliers, consultants and academia.

Globally, coal power still accounts for about 40 per cent of all electricity. IEACC’s purpose is to find ways to reduce the environmental impact of coal-powered electricity. IEACC promotes biomass co-firing as an effective means of reducing GHG emissions as well as other emissions such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and heavy metals. The organization holds an annual workshop where experts can share knowledge on the latest developments in biomass co-firing.

At this year’s workshop, Gordon gave the presentation: “Demonstrating that Electricity Production from Solid Biomass is both Low-carbon and Sustainable.”

Some of his key points included:
  • Harvesting forest biomass for electricity production must be done in a way that protects ecosystems, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and creates socio-economic benefits.
  • Some express concern that the wood demand for bioenergy may rise enormously, threatening the existence of forests. Our industry must transparently demonstrate that these concerns are unfounded.

  • In all the countries we export to, governments are demanding that we demonstrate that wood pellets are produced sustainably and that their use is resulting in GHG reductions.

  • The UK government organization Forest Research, in their 2018 publication "Carbon impacts of biomass consumed in the EU," has published a list of criteria defining good and bad biomass. Canadian wood pellets comply with these criteria.

  • According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, cumulative emissions of CO2 will largely determine global warming by the late 21st century and beyond. The exact timing of CO2 emissions is less important than how much carbon is emitted in total in the long run. Thus, the most common timeframe for measuring the impacts of greenhouse gases is 100 years. Measuring the net cumulative carbon emissions from forest biomass energy over a 100-year timeframe, as is done for fossil fuels, most accurately demonstrates the cumulative carbon benefits of biomass energy compared to fossil fuels.  

  • Forest bioenergy is usually part of a larger value chain that includes sawn wood, pulp, paper, and chemicals. Hence, drawing general conclusions on which woody biomass feedstocks to support, and which not to support, based on a very limited analysis of individual forest bioenergy systems is inappropriate and unjustified.
  • Studies show that fossil fuel used for harvesting, chipping and transportation, even over very long distances, typically corresponds to less than 10 per cent of the energy content in the supplied biomass, meaning that supply chain emissions are of minor importance.
  • Energy from woody biomass can be very positive for the climate, particularly when applying sustainable forest management practices, and when the biomass is used efficiently.

  • Canada leads all countries by far with 170 million hectares of third-party certified forests. Certification programs include FSC, PEFC (including SFI) and SBP. All Canadian wood pellet exporters are SBP-certified and use either FSC or PEFC chain-of-custody certification. Presently, wood pellets only account for about four percent of harvested forest use in Canada.
  • Canadian wood pellet producers are committed to demonstrating that we produce wood pellets to the highest standards of sustainability and that our pellets are contributing to climate change mitigation by reducing GHG emissions.

To read his full presentation, click here.

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Safety

WPAC Safety Committee

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Power Generation

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Sustainable power

The vast majority of Canadian wood pellets are made from sawmill residuals - sawdust. The rest are made from the residuals from harvesting operations for sawmills and pulp mills, or low-grade timber from forest industry harvest sites that has no other economic value. Think firewood. Read more...

Breathing easier - pellet emissions vs coal

Sustainability should be top of mind for any company that wants to stay in the game in today’s world.

As important a role as Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions play, we also need to focus on noxious emissions versus coal.

Read more...

Industry News

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  • Drax, GB Railfrieght, extend contract to transport biomass

    GB Railfreight (GBRf) and Drax have agreed to extend their contract to transport supplies of sustainable biomass from UK ports to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire until 2025. Teams at GBRf have worked closely with Drax for the past[…]

    Read more...
  • Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3

    Remotely powerful: Nine rural communities’ experience with bioenergy – Part 3 [Editor’s note: this article is the third in a series of four. Part 4 online next week.] In early 2020, CanmetENERGY, part of Natural Resources Canada, carried out interviews with nine pioneering rural and remote communities that have installed bioenergy[…]

    Read more...

The Pellet Advantage

Efficient and Plentiful Production

Wood Pellet Association of Canada members are world leaders in the design and operation of modern pellet plants.

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Innovating our way to a safer, better product

Wood pellets are a safe, reliable modern fuel. But they are still a fuel, requiring care in producing, shipping and storing.

Read more...

Renewable and sustainable? Energy really can grow on trees.

There is no single energy source capable of solving our dependence on fossil fuels. Instead we need to look to a mix of new fuels, including wood pellets.

Read more...

Argus Wood Pellet Index

US$ per metric tonneArgus Wood Pellet Index

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