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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

Oct. 6, 2017 - We know the majority of Canadians live within 160 kilometres of the U.S. border. I’ve read various stats, most of which peg the number between 70 and 90 per cent. And less than one per cent of the population lives in Canada’s northern territories, which represent about 40 per cent of the country’s land mass.

A few years ago I lived and worked in Fort Smith, N.W.T. – a town of 2,500 a stone’s throw above the 60th parallel. As with almost all northern communities, home heating options in Fort Smith are limited to oil, electricity or wood. Without the luxury of natural gas line and faced with expensive heating oil, many there opt for wood, the laborious but cheapest option.

The government of the Northwest Territories has been transitioning community buildings in Yellowknife to wood pellets for years. In a 2016 report the government of the Northwest Territories estimated that after the installation of new boilers in 2017, biomass will contribute 24 per cent of the total space heating requirements for the territory. That’s an impressive number for sure.

For the N.W.T. biomass is the affordable heating option, but what about the climate benefits? Two researchers with the USDA Forest Services undertook a study recently that compared the environmental impact of heating fuels in southwest Alaska: heating oil, cord wood and wood pellets. Their research takes into account the entire lifecycle of each fuel.

In all test scenarios, the global warming impact was lower when the solution involved wood pellets. Impact was at its lowest when wood pellets were produced and consumed locally in the rural areas. These results led the researchers to suggest that many rural communities across North America would benefit from local production and consumption of wood pellets. We’ve published their research report here.

But there are some challenges, the researchers note. Alaska has limited infrastructure needed to harvest, process and dry wood fibre. At the moment there are no commercial wood pellet mills in Alaska. The territories face the same challenges.

It goes without saying that this report is good news for Canada’s pellet producers in the domestic market. In the N.W.T. alone 24 per cent of the territory’s market share is nothing to sneeze at.

Beyond that, the research confirms what many consultants and scientists have been saying for years: that wood pellets make sense in Canada, particular in remote, rural areas that aren’t tapped into the natural gas network.

Northerners know it too. In Hay River – a neighbouring community of Fort Smith (In Northern terms at least, it’s about a three hour drive northwest) – an enterprising individual has created a wood pellet dispensary system that can be installed in a home to eliminate the need to carry in heavy pellet bags. Robert Chenard told the Hay River Hub he plans to start selling and installing the new systems soon.

Easy, cheap, and better for the climate, heating with wood pellets north of 60 is a natural choice.

Originally published in Canadian Biomass - All rights reserved.

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WPAC Safety Committee

To find more information about the WPAC Safety Committee and safety resources, please click here

Power Generation


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.


Industry News


  • 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[…]

  • 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[…]


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.


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.


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.


Argus Wood Pellet Index

US$ per metric tonneArgus Wood Pellet Index

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