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  • Writer's pictureNLFIA




March 28, 2022


Given the fiscal realities faced by Memorial University, and government’s recognition through its Climate Change Challenge Fund that biomass is an acceptable low-carbon alternative for fossil fuel switching projects, why was the local forest sector’s readily available supply of biomass not considered as a low-carbon, low-cost, heating fuel option for Memorial?

Clean and renewable forestry biomass is one of the most economical, cost-effective heating energy sources that exists today. Even the financially protected crown corporation, NL Hydro, has acknowledged through public presentations regarding its competitive market research, that it could not achieve low enough rebate price points that would entice wood energy consumers to switch to heat pumps.

Canadian universities, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia, are using forestry biomass to cost-effectively heat their campuses. In a 2018 University of Winnipeg Magazine article titled “Biomass Comes to Campus”, Manitoba Hydro stated the following: “We see it as being tremendously valuable,” and “This is a showcase project that we can point to for other institutions and economic benefits.”.

In September of 2018, the NL Forest Industry Association (NLFIA) met with Memorial’s finance and facilities executives who expressed a keen interest to pursue a low-carbon, cost-effective, biomass fuel switching project that would support rural, green economy jobs within the transitioning forest sector. Shortly after, and up until last fall, all follow up requests to Memorial’s President and executives have gone unanswered. The NLFIA is also waiting for a response from Minister Parsons as to why biomass was excluded from the evaluation process.


“The economic consequences of single solution mindsets have been extremely costly for our province. Given the affordability and availability of biomass we question how electrification is the lowest green option cost for the University and its student body. We want to see the numbers!” - Bill Dawson, Executive Director, NLFIA.

Our Forests | Our Future

NLFIA Media Contact:

Tammy Higgins, RPF

Communications & Public Relations

Telephone: 709.638.5876

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About NLFIA – NL Forest Industry Association

The NL Forest Industry Association (NLFIA) represents 96 percent of the province's commercial forest resource production. Valued at $383 million annually and providing direct and indirect employment to over 5,000 people, the sector contributes significantly to the rural economy of Newfoundland and Labrador. Established in 2017, the Association's founding members believe collaboration and partnerships are key to strengthening, growing, and transforming the forest industry in the province. Advocacy, Education and Promotion are the primary functions and strategic areas of focus for the Association.

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