Description and Background
The Province of New Brunswick will develop and implement supporting policies to optimize the energy output from our province’s wood-based biomass resources with a specific focus on pellets.
More than 20 percent of New Brunswick homes are already heated by wood and the use of biomass heat in New Brunswick could be even greater with the increased use of pellets from wood or agricultural waste, both which have emerged as viable alternatives for centrally heated homes.
The Pellet Fuels Institute in the United States is developing standards for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Many European regions have had standards for years. However, there are currently no standards in Canada. There is an opportunity for New Brunswick to lead in the development and expansion of our pellet industry by adopting pellet standards, possibly in conjunction with other Atlantic Canadian provinces.
Recent consultations with stakeholders and the forest products industry culminated in a Pellet Workshop in May 2011. Immediately following the workshop, a number of initiatives were identified and initial priorities will focus on:
- Stringent efficiency, emission and quality standards for central heating systems.
- Increasing consumer confidence by developing NB Pellet standards that meet or exceed those proposed by the Pellet Fuels Institute.
- A quality assurance and compliance program.
- Protocols for the handling, transportation and storage of pellets.
- Continued and expanded use of wood-based biomass as a heating source for government buildings, including schools and hospitals.
- Certification requirements for pellet system installers.
- Enhanced feedstock source considerations, such as minimal certification levels, quality assurance, and sustainable forest practices.
- Incentive programs through Efficiency NB (both residential and commercial).
- Increased domestic demand for biofuels that complements government and other stakeholders’ efforts to develop the value-added wood sector in New Brunswick.
- Policies to support increased use of wood biomass for combined heat and power, or thermal applications.
- Biomass district heating applications.
Key Objectives Served by this Action
Low and Stable Energy Prices – Integrating additional renewable energy will help protect New Brunswickers from the price volatility of electricity generated from fossil fuels.
Energy Security – Utilizing additional indigenous renewable energy will lessen our dependence on imported fossil fuels.
Environmental Responsibility – Additional biomass energy will reduce our greenhouse gas and associated emissions.
The Pellet Fuels Institute
The Pellet Fuels Institute is a non-profit association currently developing pellet standards for the US marketplace, focusing on pellet density,moisture content, size and ash content. There is a desire for similar standards in NB that guarantee quality control for consumers and to help ensure access to export markets.