The Government of Alberta is phasing out coal power plants and offering incentives for wind and solar energy. But what about meeting peak power demands, managing intermittent power drops from wind or solar, and the potential stranding of massive existing power generating assets?
That’s where biomass can balance out the supply side. Biomass can be used as a direct coal replacement to provide power on demand. Biomass, if sourced sustainably, can greatly reduce net GHG emissions while providing clean renewable energy. It can also drive local job creation and tax revenues.
Biomass co-firing and dedicated firing is widely used in Europe and Asia to meet climate objectives and has recently been adopted in Ontario. Biomass is cost-effective compared to other forms of renewable energy and can be used to extend the life of Alberta’s coal power fleet.
The biomass carbon cycle
Successful international examples of biomass co-firing
The successful conversion of OPG’s Atikokan Power Plant from coal to biomass
Biomass availability and logistics in Alberta
Plant conversion capital and operating cost estimates