North American forest biomass helps EU hit 2020 energy targets


Courtesy of GLOBE SERIES

BC Bioenergy Network ('BCBN'), a provincially-funded leader in the growing bioenergy sector in British Columbia and the Wood Pellet Association of Canada ('WPAC'), have released a report that documents Canada's contribution to the EU's renewable energy targets.

The study modeled forest carbon dynamics and determined that the production of energy from sustainable solid biomass rapidly mitigates climate change.

The report, released in Brussels by a coalition of North American and European wood pellet producers, shows that the use of solid biomass for power generation achieves significant carbon emissions savings.

The report focuses on forests in British Columbia in Canada and the southeast region of the United States, the two main supply regions of forest-based fuel pellets for EU consumption.

Because of its ability to supply reliable, sustainable, and base-load power, solid biomass enables Europe's energy utilities to reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants and is expected to significantly contribute to achieving the European Union (EU)'s 2020 renewable energy targets.

BC Bioenergy Network partnered with WPAC in funding $25,000 towards the +200,000 Euro study. In-kind support was provided by the coalition and the six European utilities collaborators.

'This comprehensive study and report provides useful information about the sustainable forest management regulations and policies that underpin the use of forest residuals, feedstock for BC's pellet producers' said Michael Weedon, Executive Director of BC Bioenergy Network. 'In addition, this report will help all stakeholders better understand the various issues related to biomass sustainability.'

'Although EU biomass production potential is large, the role of biomass imports from countries outside the EU is critical to meeting these targets. North America (US and Canada) is expected to remain the most important supply region for the European Union for importing biomass, mostly wood pellets,' noted Gordon Murray, Executive Director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada.

'It is important that policy makers understand the supply chains coming from other countries and how they contribute to meeting their low carbon and renewable energy targets.'

Biomass originates mainly from forests which are managed under a multiple products approach, using by-products from other wood industry activities, such as tree tops and limbs left over after harvest, sawmill residues and low quality round wood that doesn't meet the standards for lumber processing.

Forests from these regions are subject to strict national legislation and regulation, which ensure environmental protection measures are in place and that forests are sustainably managed.

For the Full Report (here)

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