B.C. needs to focus on renewable resource use

Would a new stand alone ministry help improve provincial renewable resource use?
Alberta seems to think so.

Would a new stand alone ministry help improve provincial renewable resource use?

Alberta seems to think so by creating the new “Electricity and Renewable Resource Ministry.”

According to Tony Kryzanowski, writing in the March/April 2014 Logging and Sawmilling Journal, “this new ministry has the potential to have a significant impact on the local forest industry.”

The article goes on to state the importance of changing Alberta’s image “from solely being a producer of green house gas-causing fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based petrochemicals, to that of an energy province and a leader in the production of bio-based energy and bio-chemicals.” The new ministry would allow fairer competition with the entrenched oil, gas and coal interests.

Alberta is not just creating a new ministry, they also have the Alberta Biochar Institute which has a number of mobile state of the art biochar generators which tour the province and demonstrate first hand the use of feedstock in the creation of biofuels and biochar.

It has been my observation that B.C. has been focusing on LNG and coal resources much more than bio energy and bio-chemicals. Bio related topics have also taken a minor role in the forest industry discussions which have developed primarily around saw logs and lumber manufacturing. Under a new ministry of renewable resources the tenure holder would require a plan on how “all” of the raw materials would be used, not just those that are profitable today.

While we do have some examples in this province regarding bio products we still seem a long way from using the logging residue discussed in previous articles.

To be fair, the government has produced two very useful documents regarding the use of bio energy in B.C. For example in 2008, documents entitled “B.C. Bioenergy Strategy” and “An Information Guide on Pursuing Biomass Energy Opportunities and Technology in B.C. “provided some very useful information on bioenergy options.

The first document provides some interesting generalities about the three sources of biomass potential (forestry, agriculture and municipal waste) and as you would expect forestry leads the way with 87 per cent of the total biomass potential. It is a rather glitzy publication as you would expect from the government propaganda sources but it does provide a good introduction to the topic.

The second publication more than makes up for the rather general nature of the first publication. It is loaded with practical information on the steps needed to plan and carry out the establishment of bioenergy projects. This is a must read for anyone interested in the problems with establishing new bioenergy projects. This 80-page document is loaded with references and practical information on what is needed for successful projects.

What really caught my attention was the following excerpt: “this primer is designed to assist stakeholders in small communities, aboriginal groups, municipalities and industry in developing and pursuing bioenergy options in the Province of British Columbia. It will help these stakeholders to — identify bioenergy options and technologies that are suitable for the biomass resource and bioenergy markets available to them; — identify potential hurdles and requirements related to each of the technologies described; — learn about ways to finance a bioenergy project; — understand the steps involved in the development of a project; and – identify technology providers in Canada.

I am sure most readers will agree the document does an excellent job of fulfilling many of the claims stated above.

In future articles, I will use this document along with the one from Washington State to describe small to medium projects that could use logging residue to produce a variety of products and associated jobs in the West Chilcotin.

Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years. Now retired, Hilton still volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Premier Horgan needs to work harder

There are lots of people out there who are in desperate need of assistance

The first Chimney Creek Roadhouse, constructed in 1864. (Photo courtesy of the B.C. Provincial Archives)
HAPHAZARD HISTORY: The Isnardy family of Williams Lake

Amadee Isnardy was born in 1840 near Nice, France

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: Ecological economics not a popular topic for most people

The following is a review of the no (or slow) growth concept

Do you have a letter? Email us at editor@wltribune.com
LETTER: BC Liberals left ICBC a mess: Farnworth

Our BC NDP government has worked tirelessly to fix the mess that was left behind

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read