Renewable Energy Workshop Highlights Need for Regulatory Change

    Technology surpassing regulation seems to be leading cause for lack of
    on-farm Anaerobic Digestion facilities in B.C.

    VANCOUVER, June 3 /CNW/ - On May 14, 2009, roughly 80 attendees,
including government employees and industry representatives, gathered in a
brainstorming session aimed at finding ways to facilitate the adoption of
on-farm anaerobic digesters in B.C.
    Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the process where organic waste is broken
down by microorganisms in the absence of oxygen. This process results in the
production of biogas, a renewable gas that can generate electricity, heat
and/or a natural gas substitute.
    Suitable for most organic waste streams (including agricultural,
industrial and municipal), and due to its multiple benefits, on-farm AD is
used throughout Europe and North America. These benefits include reduced
greenhouse gas emissions, odour, nutrient runoff and organics deposited in
landfills. AD adoption also provides rural economic stimulation and
diversified agricultural revenue streams while improving animal health, food
safety and security.
    Despite these benefits and unlike in other Canadian provinces and
countries, there are no on-farm AD facilities in B.C. This is due to B.C.'s
low energy prices, an ineffectual renewable energy feed-in-tariff, challenges
related to grid interconnection, and uncertainty faced by project developers
in obtaining regulatory approvals from multiple agencies.
    The goal of this workshop was to gather interested parties and regulatory
agencies together to provide an overview of AD, an update on progress in B.C.
to date, and to have an open discussion on the current regulatory process. By
providing a greater understanding, the organizers hoped to enable an open and
insightful discussion on determining appropriate actions to foster the
widespread and sustainable adoption of on-farm AD.
    The workshop was organized by the Anaerobic Digestion Initiative Advisory
Committee, an industry-government-agency group that was formed in 2008 to
facilitate the exchange of AD-related information, and to work towards
streamlining processes pertinent to the development of an AD industry in B.C.
    During the workshop, ADIAC launched its website,
which is the first of its kind in B.C. The website will house all relevant
information on Anaerobic Digestion for farmers, project proponents and the
general public.

For further information:

For further information: Paris Thomas, Director of Communication &
Planning, BC Milk Producers Association, (604) 294-3737

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