UBC Undergraduate Research

An Overview of the Wood Pellet Industry: “A British Columbia Perspective” Scott, Will

Abstract

The following is an overview of the wood pellet industry. It will examine key aspects of the industry, both positive and negative. The report starts with an overview of the current energy consumption levels looking at the different sources of energy, and what role renewable energy plays. The several types of renewable energy are discussed and biomass energy is then defined. Wood pellets are labeled as a specific type of biomass energy, and the report moves to further explain wood pellets in full. An introduction to what wood pellets are, is presented beginning with a brief description of the products’ properties. The North American standards for wood pellets are explained moving to a full description of the production process. The report then looks at two major markets for wood pellets. The potential for the U.S. market is examined starting with the residential heating sector and the role pellet stoves plays there. The potential for the industrial energy sector is then reviewed, specifically the potential for using wood pellets with coal to create energy. The second major market looked at is the European Union. Factors contributing to the success of pellets in the European market are explained as well as production potential, and the significance to the Canadian pellet industry. The Canadian wood pellet industry is further examined, and the report specifically looks at the industry in British Columbia. Current economic conditions in BC’s forest industry are discussed and specific examples are given of how wood pellets are changing the industry. Potential barriers to the success of the pellet industry in Canada and BC are brought to attention, and the report is then closed with concluding remarks.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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