Monday, January 28, 2008

Solid Biofuels Least Expensive Way to Cut GHGs: BIOCAP

For Immediate Release January 23, 2008

(Kingston, ON) — The BIOCAP Canada Foundation released today a report “Analysing Ontario Biofuel Options” prepared by REAP-Canada showing that biomass pellets offer a more cost-effective way for government incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario when compared to other renewable energy incentives in the province. The proposed solid biofuels incentive would outperform not only existing incentives for other types of bioenergy, but also those for wind and solar power.

David Layzell, President and CEO of BIOCAP, called the report’s findings striking. “This study demonstrates how an incentive program for the large-scale production and use of solid biofuels for commercial and industrial applications could be an effective and sustainable way to grow our economy. The use of biomass pellets – which can be produced from wood, switchgrass or straw – would not only create new market opportunities for the forest and agricultural industries, it would reduce dependence on coal as well as the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with coal use in Ontario.”

The study, authored by REAP-Canada with a contract and detailed input from BIOCAP, compared the cost of incentives for alternative energies such as wind, solar, biodiesel, corn ethanol and biomass pellets in contributing to energy needs of society ($ per gigajoule thermal or electrical energy) and in reducing GHG emissions ($ per tonne CO2 equivalent avoided).

The results showed that even a relatively small incentive for solid biofuel feedstocks of $4 per gigajoule of energy would offset greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of less than $50 per tonne CO2 – half the price of an offset from biodiesel, and 1/8th the price of an offset from corn ethanol. The $50 price tag also comes in slightly below that for wind power, which currently has the most cost-effective green energy incentive already available in the province of Ontario.

“This report debunks the myth that Ontario is unable to mitigate greenhouse gases affordably, clearly there are low cost solutions like biomass pellets, the urgent need is for policies to be strengthened to allow efficient technologies to emerge ” explained Roger Samson, the lead author on the report and Executive Director of REAP-Canada.

The study also offers several recommendations on how energy from solid biofuels can be developed efficiently and equitably.

The full report is available at and (

BIOCAP Canada is a national not-for-profit foundation that has spent the last ten years bringing together researchers, industry, government and NGOs to provide the insights and technologies necessary to develop a sustainable bioeconomy.

Resource Efficient Agricultural Production (REAP)-Canada is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on sustainable biofuel systems development. A world leader in developing bioenergy for greenhouse gas mitigation and rural development, REAP-Canada provides services in bioenergy research, policy and market development. The agency has 17 years of experience in energy crop development, biomass resource assessments and bioenergy conversion technologies in industrialized and developing nations.


Anonymous Greg Manning said...

What can I say ? how about this is one of the best ideas since "Sliced Bread".

GHG's are not going to decrease simply from the use of bio-diesel or ethenol, we have to "step up" and do it ourselfs, with proper "minimal impact" thinking, and conversion of energy forms.

We can think of it this way... the more complex a conversion (say stored sunlight in grasses or wooden bio-mass) the more GHG effect on the planet, simple "direct" conversion does away with the 3rd or worse 4th conversion thinking of "big business" every conversion losses a percetage of it's energy into the process (eg: crude transported to refinery, converted into gasoline, transported to pump, transfered into fuel tank, into engine, into driveshaft, into wheel, onto road) the amount of conversion and the number of losses that happen add up to one HUGE loss from the original energy !!

5:54 PM  

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