Ontario's Bio Advantage Sector Profile
Spotlight on Bioenergy
Bioenergy is the use of renewable biomass-based resources like livestock manure, energy crops field crop residues (e.g. corn cobs and stalks) and wood pellets and municipal organic wastes to:
The Case for Bioenergy
Bioenergy makes good, clean sense for Ontario. The province is rich with resources, and bioenergy brings tremendous growth potential for the economy in manufacturing, forestry and agriculture. Governments, institutions and private industry are collaborating to capitalize on the many products and energy sources currently derived from fossil fuels that can be created renewably from biomass. Bioenergy can help meet energy demands and provide on-site energy benefits, while mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The following initiatives have helped support the use of bioenergy in Ontario:
Ontario's Bioenergy Advantage
Ontario is driving innovation in biogas (anaerobic digestion) systems in Canada and has been a focus of development in North America. The market growth in Ontario biogas systems capitalizes on modern Ontario and European technology. The Independent Electricity System Operator's (IESO) Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) Program has electricity prices for different sizes of biogas systems. The three-year Ontario Biogas Systems Financial Assistance Program supported the development of 25 new and expanded biogas systems that are now generating electricity and heat. There are now over 30 systems in Ontario and many additional biogas developers are applying to the FIT program.
Ontario's biogas systems use many feedstocks - primarily manure, food processing byproducts, and other organic material. Ontario has the largest food processing industry in Canada. Using byproducts from the food industry (e.g. fats, oils, grease and non-usable food wastes) in biogas systems creates another removal option and captures energy that would otherwise have been lost. Biogas systems also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by capturing the methane gas from these byproducts and converting it to energy. The methane destroyed in the energy conversion process has 23 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. The energy generated also offsets power that would have been generated in part by fossil fuels.
The renewable natural gas from biogas systems can supply a carbon-neutral source of energy to natural gas users, including natural gas vehicles and transport trucks. According to the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Association, this can reduce the transportation energy footprint to near zero!
Biofuels are renewable alternatives to gasoline, diesel fuels and natural gas, produced from renewable agricultural feedstocks (e.g. corn for ethanol) and food processing byproducts (e.g. biodiesel from used restaurant oils).
Ontario currently uses 16.5 billion litres of gasoline and 8.1 billion litres of diesel fuel every year. Ontario gasoline consumption comprises 37 per cent of the entire Canadian marketplace while Ontario diesel consumption makes up 25 per cent.
Ontario is home to six of Canada's 20 ethanol production facilities and five out of ten biodiesel facilities.
More about Ontario's Bio Advantage: