Category Archives: canada

[EXCLUSIVE] The Future of Biomass Energy in Vermont

– by Josh Schlossberg, October 14, 2016, The Vermont Independent

Vermont’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) aims for a statewide transition to ninety percent renewable energy by 2050 while “virtually eliminating reliance on oil.”

To help reach these goals, the state seeks to cut energy consumption by fifteen percent by 2015 and by over one-third by 2050 through efficiency and conservation measures.

Within ten years Vermont hopes to procure twenty-five percent of its energy from renewables, with forty percent by 2035. For 2025, the breakdown would include sixty-seven percent renewable electricity, thirty percent renewable heating, and ten percent renewable transportation fuels.

A significant component of renewable energy would come from bioenergy, mostly sourced from forests, with a small percentage of agricultural crops such as willow and grasses.

The CEP outlines eight principles to guide the further development of bioenergy in the state.

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[NEWS] Two Wood Pellet Plants Open in British Columbia

– July 21, 2016, Bioenergy Insight

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAaxAAAAJDk0YjZhYWNlLWJlZWYtNGZiMS1iMDQ4LTU4ODU3Y2YyNGUyNwWood processing specialist Canfor has opened two new wood pellet plants worth C$58 million (€40.3m) in Canada’s British Columbia.

The two plants, located at Fort St. John and Chetwynd, were built at Canfor’s existing sawmills and have a combined annual production capacity of 175,000 tonnes of wood pellets, Prince George Citizen reports.

The Chetwynd plant began operations late last year, while the Fort St. John plant reached full operations earlier this year.

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[NEWS] Canadian Government Provides $76.5 Million for Biomass Project

– July 16, 2016, Renewable Energy from Waste 

WoodsThe Governments of Canada and Quebec will provide $76.5 million in funding to AE Côte-Nord Canada Bioenergy Inc., Ontario, Canada, for the production of renewable fuel oil from forest residues. Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honorable Jim Carr and Laurent Lessard, Quebec’s Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, made the announcement in Port-Cartier, Quebec.

The Port-Cartier plant is designed to be the first commercial-scale facility of this kind in Quebec. The goal of the project is to convert forest residues into 10,566,882 gallons of renewable fuel oil per year. When upgraded into transportation fuels, this will remove up to 70,000 tons of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. Production of renewable fuel oil is set to begin in 2017.

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[NEWS] Covanta Incinerator Exceeds Dioxin Limits

– by Stefanie Swinson, May 26, 2016, Durham Region


Photo: Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland

Covanta has failed another stack test at the incinerator it operates in Courtice.

The joint committee of the Region of Durham heard results today from Mirka Januszkiewicz, the director of waste management, regarding the Durham York Energy Centre’s most recent tests conducted between May 2-11.

The lab results show air emissions from boiler 1 exceeded limits of dioxins and furans.

The limit is a maximum of 60. Boiler 1 was tested at 818.

“That’s a shocking number to hear,” said Regional and Clarington Councillor Joe Neal during the joint committee meeting. “This is very concerning. I thought it might be 80.”

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[NEWS] “Tons of Potential” for Biomass Energy in Yukon?

– by Sidney Cohen, April 14, 2016, Whitehorse Daily Star



The Pasloski government must do more to combat climate change, says the NDP environment critic, in light of a report on climate change in the Yukon released in February.

According to the Yukon Climate Change Indicators and Key Factors report authored by John Streicker at Yukon College, the territory’s average annual temperature rose by two degrees in the last 50 years.

That means the territory is warming at twice the rate of the rest of Canada.

Effects of rising temperatures in the North include increasingly severe weather, greater risk of floods and forest fires, infestations of insects and other invasive species and biodiversity loss.

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[NEWS] Nova Scotia Biomass Power Facility Won’t Run As Often

– by Nancy King, April 11, Cape Breton Post


Photo: Cape Breton Post

Sasha Irving, vice-president of communications and public affairs, said in an interview Friday they believe it’s the right decision for customers of the utility.

“It provides us with more flexibility in choosing the type of generation we use to serve our customers,” she said.

On Friday, Stephen McNeil’s provincial government ended a legal requirement to operate the Nova Scotia Power biomass plant located in Point Tupper at Port Hawkesbury Paper as a must-run facility.

The province amended renewable electricity regulations to reduce the use of primary forest biomass for generating electricity. In a government news release announcing the move, it was noted that during the province’s electricity review, Nova Scotians expressed concerns about the use of primary forest biomass for electricity.

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Feeding the Fire: Biomass and Nova Scotia’s Race for the Bottom

– by Linda Pannozz0, March 4, 2016, Halifax Examiner


Photo: Jamie Simpson

It all sounded so good.

About a month ago, Nova Scotia Power (NSP) announced that it “set a renewable energy record,” and was moving “toward a lower carbon future.” In 2015 nearly 27 per cent of the electricity generated in the province came from renewable sources – up from only nine per cent eight years ago – and exceeded the legislated requirement of 25 per cent. Most of it came from wind, hydro, and tidal, and about three per cent of all power came from burning biomass – organic material from the forest, the majority in the form of trees. That might not sound like much but as NSP claims to have rapidly transitioned to renewables “faster than any other utility in Canada,” biomass helped it get there.

But as I looked deeper into these numbers and into reports of biomass harvesting ever since the Port Hawkesbury biomass plant opened in 2013, that fuzzy, warm feeling I was getting about using renewable energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and still being able to power my electric milk frother was quickly being replaced by the realization that we’re being fed a bill of goods.

I soon learned that the exercise of meeting targets was more a numbers game — and in this case like shuffling the deck chairs — than an honest attempt at staving off the worst of climate change. I also learned that cutting trees for biomass is part of Nova Scotia’s “renewable energy” bundle into the foreseeable future and is set to increase.

The problem is, calling biomass “renewable” in Nova Scotia is about as inconsistent as giving up liberty for freedom. It’s basically a lie and in the context of how forestry is done in this province it’s about as Orwellian as you can get.

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