Free access

Potential opportunities to utilize mountain pine beetle-killed biomass as wood pellet feedstock in British Columbia

Publication: The Forestry Chronicle
29 January 2014

Abstract

The use of renewable forms of energy, such as bioenergy produced from wood pellets, can serve to offset fossil fuel use and, hence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union is the world’s largest user of wood pellets and British Columbia has been one of its largest external suppliers. British Columbia is currently grappling with the largest mountain pine beetle outbreak in its history. While this outbreak is expected to decrease the future timber supply in the Province, it has been suggested that one potential benefit of the mountain pine beetle outbreak is that it may provide a large amount of biomass that can be used for bioenergy production. Here we evaluate estimates of the amount of biomass available for bioenergy production in British Columbia and quantify the effects of the mountain pine beetle infestation on wood pellet feedstock supply chains. Our results, though subject to significant uncertainties, suggest that mountain pine beetle-killed wood is unlikely to be a substantial constituent of wood pellet feedstocks unless substantial subsidies are provided to offset higher harvesting costs. Even if such subsidies are implemented, it is likely that harvest residues will constitute an increasing proportion of wood pellet feedstocks as the volume of beetle-killed wood becomes depleted. Therefore, it is imperative that wood pellet producers improve the cost efficiency of harvest residue collection if they are to remain competitive in the European marketplace.

Résumé

L’utilisation des sources renouvelables d’énergie, comme la bioénergie produite à partir de granules de bois, pourrait se substituer à celle des combustibles fossiles et, de ce fait, réduire la production de gaz à effet de serre. L’Union européenne est le plus important utilisateur de granules de bois et la Colombie-Britannique est devenue l’un de ses plus importants fournisseurs étrangers. À l’heure actuelle, la Colombie-Britannique est aux prises avec la plus importante épidémies de dendroctone du pin de son histoire. Même si cette épidémie risque de diminuer à long terme la production de bois d’oeuvre de la province, on prétend que cette épidémie du dendroctone du pin pourrait en retour s’avérer profitable en libérant une très grande quantité de biomasse susceptible d’être utilisée à des fins de production de bioénergie. Dans cet article, nous avons estimé la quantité de biomasse potentiellement disponible pour la production de bioénergie en Colombie-Britannique et quantifié les effets de l’épidémie du dendroctone du pin sur les chaînes logistiques d’approvisionnement pour la production de granules de bois. Même s’ils sont empreints d’un certain niveau d’incertitude, nos résultats laissent entrevoir que le bois provenant d’arbres ravagés par le dendroctone du pin a peu de chances de représenter un élément important de l’approvisionnement pour les granules de bois, à moins que des subventions importantes ne deviennent disponibles pour compenser ses coûts d’exploitation plus élevés. De plus, même avec de telles subventions, les résidus d’exploitation occuperont sans doute une part croissante de l’approvisionnement pour les granules de bois à mesure que le bois provenant d’arbres ravagés par le dendroctone s’épuisera. En conséquence, les producteurs de granules de bois n’auront d’autre choix que d’être plus efficaces à récolter les résidus d’exploitation s’ils veulent demeurer compétitifs sur le marché européen.

Formats available

You can view the full content in the following formats:

References

APX-ENDEX. 2012. ENDEX industrial wood pellets pricing [online]. Available at www.apxendex.com
Bradley, D. 2006. GHG balances of Canadian biomass exports – wood pellets. Joint IEA Task 38/40 workshop. Trondheim, Norway. Available at http://www.ieabioenergy-task38.org/workshops/trondheim06/tr%2002%20-%20Bradley.pdf
Bradley, D. 2007. Canada – sustainable forest biomass supply chains. Climate Change Solutions. Available at http://www.canbio.ca/upload/documents/sustainableforestsupplychainsoct192007.pdf
Bradley, D. 2010. Canada report on bioenergy 2010. Climate Change Solutions. Available at http://www.canbio.ca/upload/documents/canada-report-on-bioenergy-2010-sept-15-2010.pdf
Cocchi, M. et al. 2011. Global wood pellet industry market and trade study. Available at http://www.bioenergytrade.org/downloads/t40-global-wood-pellet-market-study_final.pdf
Dymond C.C., Titus B.D., Stinson G., and Kurz. W.A. Future quantities and spatial distribution of harvesting residue and dead wood from natural disturbances in Canada Forest Ecology and Management 2010 260 2 181 192
Dymond, C.C. 2012. Our logs’ story from truck to product. BC Forest Science Program Extension Note 107, Victoria, British Columbia. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/pubs/Docs/En/En107.htm
Eng, M., A. Fall, J. Hughes, T. Shore, B. Riel, A. Walton and P. Hall. 2006. Provincial-level projection of the mountain pine beetle outbreak: Update of the projection of non-recovered losses for the reference management scenario. British Columbia Forest Service. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/hre/external/!publish/web/bcmpb/year3/BCMPB.v3.ReferenceScenario.Update.pdf
[EU] European Union. 2009. Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion and use of energy from renewable source and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC. Available at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=Oj:L:2009:140:0016:0062:en:PDF
Feldinger, M. 2012. Forest products sector view on fibre and bioenergy. Canfor. International Bioenergy Conference. Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Available at http://www.bioenergyconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/Feldinger_Mark.pdf
[FPB] Forest Practices Board. 2007. Tree species harvested in areas affected by mountain pine beetles: special report. Available at http://www.fpb.gov.bc.ca/SR33_Tree_Species_Harvested_in_Areas_Affected_by_MPB.pdf
[FPB] Forest Practices Board. 2009. Biodiversity conservation during salvage logging in the central interior of BC. Available at http://www.fpb.gov.bc.ca/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=4956
Gonzalez, J.S. 1990. Wood density of Canadian tree species. Forestry Canada, Northwest Region, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-315. Available at http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pubwarehouse/pdfs/11744.pdf
[IC] Imperial College, London. 2010. Biomass futures – analyzing Europe’s future bioenergy needs. C. Panoutsou (project coordinator). Available at: www.biomassfutures.eu
Lippke B., Oneil E., Harrison R., Skog K., Gustavsson L., and Sathre. R. Life cycle impacts of forest management and wood utilization on carbon mitigation: knowns and unknowns Carbon Management 2011 2 3 303 333
MacDonald, A.J. 2006. Estimated costs for harvesting, comminuting, and transporting beetle-killed pine in the Quesnel/Nazko area of central British Columbia. Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada, Vancouver, BC. FERIC Advantage Report Volume 7, Number 16.
Massie, M.R.C. and G.H. Manning. 1989. Hog fuel yield factors for British Columbia. Forestry Canada, Pacific and Yukon Region, Pacific Forestry Centre. BC-X-3 13. Available at http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/pubwarehouse/pdfs/2859.pdf
Melin, S. 2008. Bark as feedstock for production of wood pellets. Wood Pellet Association of Canada. Available at http://www.pellet.org/images/2008-12-11_Bark_as_feedstock_for_Production_of_Wood_Pellets_Report_December_2008.pdf
[MF] British Columbia Ministry of Forests. 2005. The state of British Columbia’s forests 2004. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/sof/2004/pdf/cover.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2011. Major primary timber processing facilities in British Columbia. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/het/external/!publish/web/mill%20list/Public%20Report%202009.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012a. A history of the battle against the mountain pine beetle: 2000 to 2012. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/Pine%20Beetle%20Response%20Brief%20History%20May%2023%202012.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012b. 100 Mile House Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/mid-term-timber-supply-project/100%20Mile%20House%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012c. Kamloops Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/mid-term-timber-supply-project/Kamloops%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012d. Lakes Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/midterm-timber-supply-project/Lakes%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012e. Merritt Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/midterm-timber-supply-project/Merritt%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012f. Morice Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/midterm-timber-supply-project/Morice%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012g. Prince George Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/mid-term-timber-supply-project/Prince%20George%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012h. Quesnel Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/mid-term-timber-supply-project/Quesnel%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012i. Williams Lake Timber Supply Area Mid-Term Timber Supply. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/mid-term-timber-supply-project/Williams%20Lake%20TSA.pdf
[MFLNRO] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. 2012j. The forest industry snapshot. Available at: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/het/external/!publish/web/snapshot/201203.pdf
[MFML] British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands. 2010. The state of British Columbia’s Forests, Third edition. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/sof/2010/SOF_2010_Web.pdf
[MFR] British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range. 2006. Thestate of British Columbia’s forests 2006. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/sof/2006/pdf/sof.pdf
[MFR] British Columbia Ministry of Forests and Range. 2007. Timber supply and the mountain pine beetle infestation in British Columbia: 2007 update. Available at http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfp/mountain_pine_beetle/Pine_Beetle_Update20070917.pdf
Murray, G. 2010. Canadian wood pellet industry overview. Wood Pellet Association of Canada. Available at http://pelletheat.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Gordon-Murray.pdf
Murray, G. 2012. Canadian wood pellet industry perspectives. BC-Korea bioenergy collaboration workshop. Available at http://www.pellet.org/images/2012-03-19_G_Murray_-_BC-Korea.pdf
Niquidet K., Stennes B., and van Kooten. G.C. Bioenergy from mountain pine beetle timber and forest residuals: a cost analysis Can. J. Agri. Econ. 2012 60 2 195 210
Ralevic, P. and D.B. Layzell. 2006. An inventory of the bioenergy potential of British Columbia. Biocap Canada Foundation.
Ralevic P., Ryans M., and Cormier. D. Assessing forest biomass for bioenergy: operational challenges and cost considerations For. Chron. 2010 86 1 43 60
Ryans, M. 2012. Biomass outlook and use for bioenergy applications. FPInnovations. International Bioenergy Conference. Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. Available at http://www.bioenergyconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/Ryans_Mark.pdf
Schrier, D. 2012. BC’s exports moving out of the woods. BC Stats [online]. Available at http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/Publications/AnalyticalReports.aspx
Sedjo, R.A. 2010. The biomass crop assistance program (BCAP). Some implications for the forest industry. Resources for the Future. Available at http://www.rff.org/documents/RFF-DP-10-22.pdf
Sedjo, R.A. 2011. Carbon neutrality and bioenergy. A zero-sum game? Resources for the Future. Available at http://www.rff.org/documents/RFF-DP-11-15.pdf
Sikkema R., Junginer M., Pichler W., Hayes S., and Faaij. A.P.C. The international logistics of wood pellets for heating and power production in Europe: costs, energy input and greenhouse gas balances of pellet consumption in Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands Biofuels, Bioprod. Bioref. 2010 4 2 132 153
Sikkema R., Steiner M., Junginger M., Hiegl W., Hansen M.T., and Faaij. A. The European wood pellet markets: current status and prospects for 2020 Biofuels, Bioprod. Bioref. 2011 5 3 250 278
Skea, D. and K. Day. 2009. Productivity and cost of producing forestorigin feedstocks for biofuels: seven case studies near Williams Lake BC. Williams Lake: UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest. Available at http://trench-er.com/public/library/files/biofuel-forest-feedstock.pdf
Stennes, B. and A. McBeath. 2006. Bioenergy options for woody feedstock: are trees killed by mountain pine beetle in British Columbia a viable bioenergy resource? Natural Resources Canada. Available at http://publications.gc.ca/collections/Collection/Fo143-2-405E.pdf
Stennes B., Niquidet K., and van Kooten. G.C. Implications of expanding bioenergy production from wood in British Columbia: an application of a regional woo fibre allocation model Forest Science 2010 56 4 366 378
Stubbs, M. 2011. Biomass crop assistance program (BCAP): status and issues. Congressional Research Service Report for Congress. Available at http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/crsdocs/18/
[UNFCCC] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2010. Report of the Conference of the Parties on its fifteenth session, held in Copenhagen from 7 to 19 December 2009 (FCCC/ CP/2009/11/Add.1) Available at http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/cop15/eng/11a01.pdf
[USDA] United States Department of Agriculture. 2012. Biomass crop assistance program [online]. Available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/webapp?area=home&subject=ener&topic=bcap

Information & Authors

Information

Published In

cover image The Forestry Chronicle
The Forestry Chronicle
Volume 90Number 01January 2014
Pages: 80 - 88

History

Published online: 29 January 2014

Permissions

Request permissions for this article.

Key Words

  1. mountain pine beetle
  2. bioenergy
  3. wood pellets
  4. greenhouse gas emissions
  5. biomass feedstocks
  6. Biomass Crop Assistance Program

Mots-clés

  1. dendroctone du pin
  2. bioénergie
  3. granules de bois
  4. émissions de gaz à effet de serre
  5. approvisionnements en biomasse
  6. Biomass Crop Assistance Program (Programme d’aide à la récolte de biomasse)

Authors

Affiliations

Scott A. Lloyd
Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B3
C. Tattersall Smith
Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, 33 Willcocks St., Toronto, Ontario M5S 3B3. E-mail:
Göran Berndes
Associate Professor, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden SE-412 96. E-mail:

Metrics & Citations

Metrics

Other Metrics

Citations

Cite As

Export Citations

If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice. Simply select your manager software from the list below and click Download.

Cited by

1. Harvesting the dead and decaying forests: Potential carbon storage in harvested wood products

View Options

View options

PDF

View PDF

Get Access

Media

Media

Other

Tables

Share Options

Share

Share the article link

Share with email

Email a colleague

Share on social media