Author: Siobhan McClelland, Canadian Geographic
Publish Date: Oct 11, 2013 Last Update: Sep 24, 2018
Biofuels, renewable liquid fuels made from biomass, are used to power vehicles or generate electricity through fuel cells. As of 2014, Canada had approximately 70 biomass generating power plants with total installed capacity of 2 408 MW. Most of these facilities rely on wood, wood by-products, and landfill gas. Provinces with high biomass use tend to have active pulp, paper, and forestry industries.
Biomass is organic material, such as trees, agricultural byproducts and municipal waste, that can be burned or converted into biofuel to produce energy. Biomass is a widely available renewable energy source. Biomass is the third largest renewable source of Canada’s electricity generation. Its share in Canada’s electricity generation is 1.4 per cent.
The main forms of biomass in Canada include byproducts of the forest products industry and municipal waste. Burning biomass, particularly firewood for heating homes is widespread in Canada. Wood pellets, mainly made of sawdust and other waste from sawmilling, are used both to produce heat and generate electricity.
Biofuels, renewable liquid fuels made from biomass, are used to power vehicles or generate electricity through fuel cells. The two most common biofuels in Canada are ethanol and biodiesel. Ethanol is mainly used as an additive to gasoline.
Canada had 35 biomass-fuelled power plants in 2011, and approximately 70 biomass generating power plants in 2014. Atikokan Generating Station (GS), located in Ontario, has been converted from coal to use biomass as fuel. The two-year conversion project was completed on time, and on budget in the summer of 2014 and is now the largest capacity 100 per cent biomass fuelled plant in North America.
Contact us with any questions or concerns