Forest Biomass Updates

The B.C. Bioeconomy Committee was formed in July 2011 to provide advice on opportunities in the sector – specifically forest biomass- to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. The report, released over the summer of 2012, provides a snapshot, rather than a comprehensive study, of the wide range of activities already underway in B.C., as well as Alberta, Ontario, U.S., Europe and Finland. The Committee concludes that there is an urgent need for government leadership, and provides recommendations for action.

On July 19, Ontario announced that it is proceeding with the conversion of the Atikokan Generating Station from coal to biomass, as part of its plan to eliminate coal-fired electricity generation by the end of 2014. The government projects that the conversion will create 200 construction jobs, as well as preserve existing long-term jobs because of a provision that the biomass must be sourced from Ontario’s forests and processed in Ontario.

On September 13th the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility at the University of British Columbia was officially opened, to convert local, renewable wood fuel to energy by means of a biomass gasification technology. Note that the federal government also announced funding on September 13 for the Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE) tidal energy project in Halifax.

LINKS:

B.C. Bioeconomy report is available at:

http://www.gov.bc.ca/jti/down/bio_economy_report_final.pdf

News Release: Ontario Government converts Coal Plant to Biomass at:

http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2012/07/ontario-converts-coal-plant-to-biomass-creates-200-jobs.html

News Release: Harper Government Supports Innovative Renewable Energy Project and Innovation in British Columbia September 13, 2012 at: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/news-release/2012/6521, with a Backgrounder at: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/media-room/news-release/2012/6519

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