ARCHIVED - Investing in B.C.’s Biomass Energy Technology

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The Governments of Canada and British Columbia are making an investment in clean energy that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while helping position innovative technologies at the forefront of the energy sector.

The Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility at the University of British Columbia involves converting renewable wood fuel to energy with biomass gasification technology, and will soon supply energy for the UBC campus. Once completed, this facility will produce approximately the same amount of energy required to power 1,500 homes each year. It will also generate about 9,600 pounds per hour of steam, which will account for about 12 percent of the campus’s demand for heat. The facility’s reduction of fossil fuel use will eliminate up to 5,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year; will be fuelled by locally sourced wood biomass, using up to 25,000 tonnes annually; and will enable students and faculty to conduct applied research on bioenergy systems and other green technologies.

The biomass gasification technology at the University of British Columbia will be the first commercial demonstration in North America to feature an innovative renewable energy system that converts local, renewable wood fuel — in the form of wood chips, wood pellets and municipal tree trimmings — into energy to produce efficient heat and power. Moreover, the building will be constructed using cross-laminated timber as the major building material.

The project is receiving up to $10 million through Natural Resources Canada’s Clean Energy Fund, part of the Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan; $1.4 million from Western Economic Diversification; and $800,000 from the Large-Scale Wood Demonstration Initiative. This is in addition to $1.5 million provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

The plan is supporting research, development and demonstration projects to advance Canadian leadership in innovative energy technologies. This initiative includes $146 million to support 20 renewable and clean energy projects.

Canada has excelled in transforming its vast endowment of natural resources into world-leading resource industries. In 2011, the natural resource sectors directly accounted for 15 percent of the nominal gross domestic product (GDP) and 790,896 jobs.

Media may contact: 

Carly Wolff
Press Secretary
Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada