Filed under: Pulp & Paper

Canadian Forest Industry Could Be Key To Renewable Energy

by on Oct 21st, 2011

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The forestry sector has traditionally been known for it’s lumber, pulp, and paper opportunities but forestry experts say that Canadian forests could be key to developing a strong renewable energy sector.
Earlier this month, Avrim Lazar, president and CEO appeared before the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources and said that with the right government support the Canadian forest industry could produce a significant amount of clean, renewable energy.
“We could easily triple our clean energy output using waste products from our mills,” says Lazar. “Already we are self-generating about two thirds of our energy needs and about a half dozen of our mills are now net exporters of energy to provincial grids. Further developing this significant source of green energy needs to be a larger part of governments’ energy development plans.”
Using biomass as an energy source is not a particularly new phenomenon, especially in Canada. According to reports published by Pulp and Paper Canada, biomass ranks second after large hydroelectric facilities in producing renewable energy in Canada.
The move to renewable sectors such as biomass has been facilitated for pulp and paper companies across the country has been facilitated through a government program called the Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program. The program offered companies a $0.16 per litre credit for black liquor produced by their mills between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2009 in an attempt to inject income into the companies with the goal of improving energy efficiency and environmental performance.
According to Pulp and Paper Canada, when the program is fully completed pulp and paper mills are expected to have produced an extra 2.1 million MWH/year, enough to power nearly 174,000 homes.
“We need to keep that momentum going,” Lazar told the magazine. “Governments have an important role to play to further help mills accelerate their transformation and add on the production of bio-fuels, bio-chemicals and other bio-products to their existing product mix.”

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