Climate Change


Biomass in the NWT

Biomass is a proven renewable energy source created from organic materials that provides greenhouse gas emissions reductions when compared with fossil fuel use in the Northwest Territories (NWT). In the NWT, biomass energy is derived from plant matter such as dead trees, branches and wood chips. These materials are used as they are, or to create wood pellets as an alternative source of energy for heating homes and businesses.

The NWT is a leader for sustainable biomass energy in Canada. As the development of new and efficient technologies have made wood a reliable source of energy for large scale applications, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has supported the installation of wood pellet boilers to heat institutional buildings, such as schools.

One challenge in expanding the use of wood and wood pellets as an energy source in the Northwest Territories is that wood pellets are currently being imported from southern Canada. It may be possible to develop a new industry in the NWT to harvest and produce wood pellets. Firewood for conventional woodstoves is already harvested in many northern communities.

NWT forest covers 3.3 million hectares of land and represents 28 percent of the Canadian Boreal Forest. With careful planning, NWT forests have the potential to be sustainably harvested, creating jobs and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Biomass Energy Strategy

The NWT Biomass Energy Strategy 2012-2015 builds on progress made in the development of biomass energy in the NWT over the past two years through the implementation of the Northwest Territories Biomass Energy Strategy 2010. This Strategy helped guide an expanding biomass energy industry throughout the NWT, while keeping the emphasis on local harvest and sustainability.


External resources