BC Hydro calls for bioenergy projects
The provincial utility is asking for preliminary proposals in order to identify potential projects that will generate electricity from wood fibre fuel sources such as beetle-killed timber, sawmill residue and logging debris.
British Columbia is experiencing an unprecedented mountain pine beetle infestation that has affected several million hectares of trees throughout the province. The province also has an abundance of underutilized wood residues, in the form of sawmill residues, logging debris and a growing supply of timber killed by the mountain pine beetle that will become less usable for conventional forest products over time.
The deadline for expressions of interest to be filed with BC Hydro is April 17, 2007. For more information, go to www.bchydro.com/2007bioenergy.
The BC Energy Plan requires that at least 90 per cent of the province’s electricity must come from clean, renewable resources. The plan also stipulates that all new electricity projects will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Overall, the energy strategy aims to reduce BC’s emissions by at least 33 per cent below current levels by 2020, which equates to 10 per cent below 1990 levels.’
The use of beetle-killed timber is also an important component of the Endless Energy model developed by the GLOBE Foundation, which outlines a plan to make BC energy self-sufficient by 2025 from renewable sources alone. A key point however, is that the province must develop other energy resources or biomass crops in order to sustain the level of power production as beetle-killed timber becomes depleted.