Officials from Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department of Natural Resources said their province should be seeking out ways to capitalize on bio-energy opportunities.
At a talk on Bio-Energy in Newfoundland and Labrador presented at the College of the North Atlantic in Corner Brook this week, Steve Hounsell, a value added forester with the Department of Natural Resources, said companies in the province have a viable opportunity to open up new markets through bio-energy.
“The bio-energy field is being driven right now by the European market that has a goal of reducing emissions by 20 per cent and having 20 per cent of its energy come from renewable resources by 2020,” wrote The Western Star. “The demand for bio-energy sources far outweighs the available European resources and opens up potential for exports from this province.”
Creating products from farm and wood waste, Hounsell said there are three forms of potential growth: “the solid wood form, including fire wood and hog fuel used by Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Ltd., wood briquettes and wood pellets” – the later being the area with the biggest potential.
Fostering bio-energy markets in the province are also a way of increasing revenues for pulp mills and saw mills and also reduces the overall amount of waste being produced by these companies.
“It’s a plus all the way around,” said Gary Forward, a supervisor of industry service with the Department of Natural Resources.
In addition to these benefits, Forward said he believed consumers would be looking to different sources for energy in the near future.
“As the fossil fuels increase I think there’s going to be more people considering wood pellet stoves,” he said. “People are nervous about their energy costs and I think as their energy costs continue to rise they’re going to be looking at alternate sources and wood pellets is one of those alternate sources.”