Toronto, Ontario Canada (PressExposure) January 25, 2008 -- âOntario farmers looking to turn a bigger profit should take a good look in their own backyards,â Douglas Bradley, President of the Canadian Bioenergy Association (CANBIO), announced today. If residues from the corn, winter wheat, barley, spring wheat, and oats grown in Ontario each year were used to generate renewable energy, they could provide up to 24 per cent of all of the provinceâs electricity consumption, according to a recent study by Yimin Zhang, Shiva Habibi and Heather MacLean in the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association.
The problem? Harvesting leftover crops is new â simple, one-pass collection methods are just starting to be devised and markets are immature.
But soaring energy costs, advances in waste recovery equipment, and government support for renewable energy generation is changing the economics said Bradley. âSubstituting some fossil fuels with bioenergy not only cuts carbon emissions, itâs also a great business opportunity for Ontario farmers.â
Thatâs why the Canadian Bioenergy Association and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture are hosting two half-day bioenergy workshops at the Canadian International Farm Equipment Show in Toronto on 7 February 2008. The workshops aim to help farmers get started in bioenergy using agricultural wastes or dedicated energy crops either for sale to Ontario markets or for on-farm energy generation.
The morning workshop called, Finally! Money from agricultural waste and energy crops, will showcase new opportunities to sell agricultural wastes or crops to the Ontario energy market. Ontario Power Generationâs (OPG) Nanticoke coal-fuelled generating station has been running biomass test burns which involve co-firing milling by-products with coal to produce greener energy. Industry experts will present market and trend studies and offer advice to help farmers take advantage of these opportunities.
The afternoon workshop called, Fuelling and powering your farm with biomass, will show farmers how they can use agricultural wastes to power their operations â a simple way of cutting costs and running a more sustainable operation. Speakers at this workshop will tell farmers how to use farm residues and animal wastes to power everything from their tractors to their heating systems.
Each workshop costs $40, if participants register in advance, and includes free admission to the Canadian International Farm Equipment Show. Workshop agendas and online registration are available on the CANBIO website: [http://www.canbio.ca].
Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Councilâs CanAdvance Program.