Alberta providing support to 31 bioenergy companies

touring the Lethbridge Biogas facility
Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office touring the Lethbridge Biogas facility with Stefan Michalski, director of operations.

Bioenergy is low-carbon energy or fuel made from agricultural products such as crops and livestock waste. The government of Alberta is committing $60-million to its Bioenergy Producer Program that it says will support 500 direct jobs and help companies succeed in the province’s low-carbon future. The province says that money for this grant will come from carbon revenues.

Through the program, 31 companies will receive short-term funding to support the low-carbon industry.

The short-term funding will keep operations going, while a third-party adviser and other stakeholders advise government on new policy options to support the industry and build on a program begun in 2006. A report is expected by the end of March.

The grant recipients all produce biofuels, electricity, heat or wood pellets that help make greenhouse gas reductions in Alberta. The grants are production-based, meaning money is provided based on how much bioenergy each company generates. All types of bioenergy are funded at the same rate.

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Of the facilities getting money, three are under construction. According to the provincial government, this means new jobs and over $200 million in new investment. The grants will help keep 1.5 megatonnes of emissions out of the air.

According to the Alberta government, the province’s bioenergy industry powers the equivalent of 200,000 homes, using wood pellets, biogas and liquid biofuels. The industry contributes about $800 million to Alberta’s economy.

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