Biomass refers to organic material derived from living or recently living organisms; when we talk about biomass as it relates to renewable energy, we are referring to biomass that can be used as fuel to generate electricity and/or heat. When biomass is derived from a rapidly regenerating material (such as bamboo, cork or straw), it is considered a renewable source of energy because such materials take ten years or less to re-grow and be harvested. Furthermore, when biomass is derived from material that would otherwise be disposed of as waste (such as low-grade wood and wood chippings, municipal waste and animal waste) it can also be considered a renewable energy source. Against the backdrop of increasing global concern for the environment and rising conventional fuel costs, the practice of burning biomass for energy generation has become more popular because biomass can be burned in place of fossil fuels in certain applications so long as the necessary equipment is available. Most biomass sources are also dramatically less expensive than traditional fuels.

Biomass Sources

(photo source: The Biomass Innovation Center)

The Scotia Gardens Seafood Inc. uses agriculture waste as feedstock to an Anaerobic Digester to produce biogas. The partnership will create green, clean electricity in the future.

Digby County is also home to Université Sainte-Anne, which is known as one of the greenest campuses in the country. Their use of renewable energy sources includes a biomass furnace fueled by locally-sourced wood chips.