BC Bioenergy Network helps turn wood waste into green energy and reduce greenhouse gasses in British Columbia.
Bioenergy is created by taking biowaste—wood waste, municipal organic waste, animal manure and food waste—and transforming it into useful products such as electricity, heat, biofuels and specialty chemicals.
"Compared to other alternative energy sources, bioenergy is simple and straightforward, and it uses proven technologies," says Darren Frew, director of planning and Communication for BC Bioenergy Network (BCBN).
BCBN is a Vancouver-based, independent, not-for-profit investment group that provides funding for bioenergy capital projects that are intended to make or save money.
"Bioenergy is an established energy source that has been used in Europe since the early 1980s," says Frew. "As steward of one of the largest forested areas on Earth, British Columbia can become a major player in developing green energy for the global bioenergy sector."
BCBN, which was established in 2008 with a one-time $25 million grant from the provincial government, has a five-fold mandate: Maximize the value of BC's biomass resources; develop research; development and demonstration projects; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; network and partner to advance BC's bioenergy sector; and champion funding initiatives to support bioenergy technology and applications in BC.
To do this, BCBN promotes the development of modern technologies, such as biochemical and thermochemical conversion, anaerobic digestion and densification, that transform biomass waste into profitable and useful products.
British Columbia produces more than 16 million tonnes of biowaste per year. Since 2008, BCBN has invested $15.75 million in 19 capital projects to turn some of that waste into bioenergy.
BCBN has also invested more than $800,000 in 11 capacity-building projects, including market evaluations, biomass availability studies and technical feasibility studies.
"For example, we are helping remote First Nations communities develop solutions for replacing diesel and propane systems with reliable and renewable energy systems,"