Country Reports... Canada
is beginning to realize some of its biological potentials in the field
of bioenergy as it inventories the resource, studies and tests new
varieties, begins to plant on a commercial scale and introduces the
issue of biomass and bioenergy before the public.
A Glimpse of Bioenergy Activites in
Peter Hall, 2002
The Canadian Forest Service is in the
process of developing inventory methods for our biomass resources to
be able to assess biomass over time and to enable planning for
harvesting as a crop or in conjunction with conventional harvesting
operations. An improved knowledge of biomass resources will enhance
the ability of forest-based communities to make the best use of
biomass for energy. Knowledge of biomass resources is needed for
reporting on Criteria and Indicators in international agreements;
biomass volumes are an indicator of forest productivity and form part
of carbon budget models used in Kyoto negotiations.
A research initiative on poplar
genomics has recently been promoted with a view of developing new
varieties for a range of purposes in the commercial sector. The
initiative is part of a larger research effort to explore the Canadian
biosphere to addres the issues ofclimate change and greenhouse gas
management to reduce emissions at source, remove them from the
atmosphere and redeuce demand on fossil fuels through the use of
Biomass plantings for testing and
operational scales are in place various places in Canada. In Quebec,
testing of poplars on disused farmaland and with fertilization by
solid wastes is underway and is demonstrating establishment and
tending methods for pooplar and willow. In Ontario, review of older
plantings which tested growth and development of many varieties of
poplar, willow and alder under various planting/fertilization methods.
In western Canada on the Prairies, evaluation is underway of older
plantings of poplars, species and hybrids, may planted 30+ years ago.
At the same time the testing of new species and varieties under a
range of establishment methods continues.
In Alberta, in recent years industrial
scale planting of poplars on farmland in collaboration with landowners
has occurred. These plantings are for fibre to address perceived
shortages in the next 20 years. In British Columbia large-scale
establishment of Populus trichocarpa by industry is aimed at
In November 2002, the Canadian
Biomass Energy Association (CANBIO) was incorporated to promote
the use of biomass for energy in Canada. The organization is currently
conducting a membership drive, developing its communications strategy,
and is planning a national meeting with a workshop in early 2003.
CANBIO thus joins the family of biomass associations, FINBIO, SVEBIO
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