Biomass Cogeneration Puts Canada in the Green

Member companies of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) are putting their industry waste to good green use. The Association plans to increase their commitment to sustainability, climate change and renewable resource management by gaining the EcoLogo certification for the forest industry through the country’s Environmental Choice Program (ECP).

Certification would apply to the biomass cogeneration sites operated by the industry, and allow FPAC certified members to market renewable energy certificates to energy purchasers. The pulp and paper sector currently meets 55 percent of its energy demands with biomass and is now the largest industrial source of cogeneration or combined heat and power capacity in Canada. More than 50 plants across Canada use cogeneration techniques to create process steam and power for their operations, with several more mills in the final stages of planning new installations. With continued investment and advances worldwide in biomass energy research, an energy self-sufficient pulp and paper industry is not inconceivable in the future. “The forest products industry is a world leader with respect to biomass and renewable energy. Today the industry has over 1600 megawatts of electricity generation capacity or roughly the output of 3 nuclear reactors,” said Avrim Lazar, FPAC President and CEO. “We believe EcoLogo certification to be a unique opportunity for FPAC members to further advance their leadership efforts in the area of renewable low-impact electricity generation and use.” FPAC is working with TerraChoice Environmental Marketing to initiate Environment Canada’s Environmental Choice Program certification process for all biomass cogeneration sites operated by FPAC member companies who express interest. The sites would be certified under the “Electricity – Renewable Low Impact” criteria. FPAC estimates that its members will apply for certification of approximately 850 MW of biomass-fired cogeneration capacity. Since 1999, the Environmental Choice Program has developed criteria and certified companies in the renewable green power sector in North America. An EcoLogo is only granted to those generation sites that use water, solar, biogas, biomass or wind, and have superior environmental performance. To date, the Program has certified over 200 facilities in Canada and the United States in all five of the above mentioned resource category groups. FPAC expects the member mill certification process to be completed by the end of April 2005.
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