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Wood Pellets and Fighting Climate Change

Posted Dec 12th, 2017

Wood Pellets and Fighting Climate Change TERESA MADALENO 

New Brunswick wood pellet manufacturers are working hard to make a case for the use of wood waste in expanding the provinces energy efficiency plans. While places like Europe are already embracing the use of wood pellets, expanding the provinces existing domestic pellet output may require a little more time.

New Brunswick currently has four wood pellet plants. They produce over 190,000 tonnes each year. There is also a company that is proposing to open another plant that would see 100,000 tonnes produced annually. Right now, a lot of NB pellets get shipped to Europe where wood pellets are widely used as a source of green energy. 

In recent years, Ontario has taken the wood pellet concept more seriously. Today there are many people who heat their rural Ontario homes and cottages with wood pellets. In New Brunswick they have also had some success with the pellets. There are a few schools, hospitals and even churches that have installed wood pellet boilers for heating. However, pellet providers say the industry could be so much bigger. They also argue that wood pellet production comes with many benefits, including those listed below.

• Increased employment and investment in rural areas
• Reduced dependence on foreign energy imports
• Lower heating costs for homes, businesses, and public institutions
• Cost-effective way to address climate change
• Can be coupled with small electrical generator to provide secure heat source during emergency situations.

As many governments across the world consider phasing out fuel oil for heating, there will likely be more evaluation of wood pellets. Many energy experts also suspect that more jurisdictions will look at offering incentives for commercial and institutional heating with pellets, making the transition much easier.

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