UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Climate change mitigation in British Columbia's forest sector : utilizing harvest residues to produce regional power and liquid biofuels Howard, Christina


Under the global threat of climate change, Canada has committed to ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. Forests can be managed to help meet these goals through increased carbon sequestration or reduced carbon emissions. Several climate change mitigation strategies have been proposed and analysed within the forest sector in Canada and the province of BC. This analysis examines three facets of climate change mitigation in the forest sector, including; 1) evidence for and against old growth forests as carbon sinks, 2) assumptions underlying the use of displacement factors, and 3) utilizing forest harvest residues for bioenergy and biofuels in BC. Using an existing LP optimization model framework from previous analyses that determines the maximum avoided emissions of using bioenergy from harvest residues to avoid fossil fuel emissions, a second liquid transportation biofuel pathway was added to this framework for harvest residues within BC. This original data analysis found that the optimal end use for harvest residues in BC, in terms of highest amount of emissions avoided per amount of fibre used, is within community bioenergy facilities to displace fossil fuel heat generation. Additionally, when fibre is used for biofuel generation, facility destination “fibresheds” are created. When fibre is used for bioenergy generation, fibresheds are much less well-defined, with fibre sometimes being transported very long distances to reach destinations with high fossil fuel heat demand. This thesis provides a unique addition to climate change mitigation in the forest sector, and future research can use the framework provided within this analysis to further determine and quantify climate change mitigation strategies within the BC forest sector.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International