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Prince George bioenergy conference a success

June 10, 2010, Prince George, BC – The 4th International BioEnergy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George, British Columbia, featured 44 speakers, 54 exhibitors, and 350 delegates from across North America and Europe.


June 10, 2010
By Bioenergy Conference & Exhibition

June 10, 2010, Prince George, BC – Canada’s largest conference on bioenergy began June 8
in Prince George, British Columbia. The 4th International BioEnergy Conference
and Exhibition, co-hosted by the BC Bioenergy Network, featured 44 speakers, 54
exhibitors, and 350 delegates from across North America and Europe.

“The program we’ve put together this year is easily the best, most comprehensive
coverage of the bioenergy industry we’ve had since the conference started in
2004,” says Michael Kerr, conference co-founder and 2010 conference chair.
“We’ve got all the bases covered. All biomass feedstocks – wood, agriculture,
municipal waste – a full range of technologies – from existing systems to
what’s coming to commercialization next – and a range of voices from presenters
representing most of the key Western economies.”

Pat Bell,
BC minister of forests and range, opened the International Partnerships Forum
and pre-conference business-to-business meetings. Co-hosted by the Northern
Bioenergy Partnership and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, these
meetings allowed representatives from Canadian companies to meet with the
counterparts at companies from Europe to discuss potential business
partnerships and investment opportunities. Minister Bell outlined seven key
developments undertaken by the province in the last two years that will
encourage effective use of forest residues, attract international investment,
and support the development of a vibrant bioenergy industry. They include:

·      
Amendments
to the Forest Act to encourage the use of wood for bioenergy;
·      
As
part of the Clean Energy Bill, primary harvesters can be ordered not to burn
logging waste;

·      
New
“stand-as-a-whole” pricing for beetle-killed timber stands to encourage more
biomass use;

·      
New
“receiving license” designed to increase long-term security of fibre supply for
the bioenergy industry;

·      
Innovative
Clean Energy (ICE) funding for innovation in new clean energy technologies;

·      
Support
for the BC Bioenergy Network to improve knowledge transfer into the
marketplace; and,

·      
Phase
Two of the Bioenergy Call for Power, announced last week.

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The
speakers’ program included presenters from Canada, United States, New Zealand,
Austria, Sweden, Italy, and Germany. The conference opened with a keynote
presentation from Dana Hayden, deputy minister of forests and range with the
province of British Columbia. In the first session, delegates heard from two
nominees for the 2010 World Bioenergy Award – Ralph Sims of the Centre for
Energy Research at Massey University in New Zealand, and Prince George native
John Swaan, considered the grandfather of the pellet industry in Canada, and
currently CEO of Magnolia Bioenergy, a Georgia-based bioenergy startup company.
The conference then moved into a lively discussion of some key policy issues
facing the bioenergy industry worldwide and in British Columbia, as well as
sessions on issues of sustainability, carbon markets, and the economics of the
industry. The second day featured a comprehensive look at the nuts and bolts of
all sectors of the bioenergy industry.

The event
also included a trade show featuring more than 50 exhibitors from across the
industry. To wrap up the conference, delegates attended optional field tours to
the Canfor Pulp cogeneration facility or the Baldy Hughes community energy
system, as well as the Nexterra gasification system and the bioenergy research
facility at the University of Northern British Columbia.

www.bioenergyconference.org

 


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