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Wood pellets and wood chips are the dominant fuels, with preference regionally specific.

The September 2017 issue of the Madison’s Heating Wood Pellet price report provided detailed information from a Natural Resources Canada / Torchlight Bioresources study on bioheat projects in Canada. This report was recently updated by Natural Resources Canada, exploring the growth of bioheat projects in Canada by jurisdiction, sector, and biofuel type.
The 2020 survey identified just over 460 bioheat projects, compared to approximately 350 in 2016. Key findings of the report indicate that regulatory regime and government procurement policies have a significant impact on streamlined implementation of new bioheat projects.
Additionally, municipal institutions such as schools, hospitals, and community buildings continue to be the strongest market for bioheat in Canada.
As well, European-manufactured boilers are increasingly used for new projects.

BIOHEAT FACILITY NUMBERS BY GEOGRAPHY, SECTOR and SIZE

The graph below shows the distribution of 460 bioheat projects by province/territory:

Canadian Bioheat Database Update: 2017 - 2020
Natural Resources Canada

Due to strong support from provincial government subsidies and policies, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island have all shown considerable growth over the past two years. For example, more than 30 per cent of total projects added in Quebec, most have received provincial funding through the Transition Énergétique Québec – Residual Forest Biomass program. In contrast, Saskatchewan and Nunavut have no bioheat installations.
Smaller facilities with 1 MW or less of thermal capacity account for over 75 per cent of total projects in the Bioheat Database due to market demand, diversity of boiler options, and less cumbersome permitting processes.
Larger facilities are typically associated with forestry or agricultural operations that can provide consistent access to high volumes of biomass fuels in provinces such as BC, Ontario, and Quebec.

BIOFUELS (FEEDSTOCK)

Canadian Bioheat Database Update: 2017 - 2020
Natural Resources Canada

CONCLUSIONS

Canadian Bioheat Database Update: 2017 - 2020
Natural Resources Canada

Based upon the results of the 2020 Canadian Bioheat Database, followings are the key sector trends:

  • Industry growth continues to be concentrated in provinces that have historically had the strongest bioheat industries including British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Ontario, New Brunswick and Prince Edwards Island.
  • Regulatory regime and government procurement policies have an impact bioheat industry growth.
  • Institutions, including schools and hospitals, continue to be the strongest market for bioheat in Canada but the commercial market is growing.
  • Majority of the bioheat projects are at a scale 1 MWth or less.
  • Wood pellets and wood chips are the dominant fuels, with preference regionally specific.
  •  European-manufactured boilers are increasingly prevalent in the Canadian bioheat market.

Contact Sebnem Madrali (sebnem.madrali@canada.ca) at Natural Resources Canada, for the full report.