Biomass generation or bioenergy creates (heat and/or power) from wood or wood residues, agricultural food and feed crop residues, aquatic plants, animal wastes, dedicated agricultural energy crops and urban waste.
The technologies utilized to create bioenergy include combustion, gasification, pyrolysis, digestion, and gas collection.
Biomass technologies are generally considered to be sustainable and carbon neutral. This is due to the short processing cycle involved, combined with the regeneration of carbon though replanting, referred to as “biogenic carbon”.
Bioenergy production in BC is limited to wood and wood residues, as well as landfill gas collection. While over 600 MW of capacity is currently in operation in the province at large pulp and paper facilities (largely self-generation), only 65 MW is in operation from Independent Power Producers (0.5% of the province’s total generation portfolio).
Future woody biomass sources in the province include existing mill wood residues, roadside debris and standing bug kill. Generation potential from existing mill residues alone is in excess of 200 MW. The total generation potential for all wood sources is in the order of 2,300 MW.