Call for Offsets Boosts BC Bio-Coal Industry

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Call for Offsets Boosts BC Bio-Coal Industry

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Call for #Offsets Boosts BC #Bio-Coal Industry via @PacificCarbon

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Bio-coal, made from roasted biomass, has comparable energy density to coal but with a significantly smaller carbon footprint.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 7:25pm

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British Columbia’s bio-coal producers are another step closer to reaching commercialization following a Request for Proposals that was issued on June 14 by Pacific Carbon Trust for offsets from industries switching from coal to bio-coal. Bio-coal is created through the torrefaction, or roasting, of biomass that results in a high-grade, solid fuel with an energy content on par with that of coal.

BC Crown corporation Pacific Carbon Trust launched a tender for offsets up to the equivalent of 100,000 tonnes of reduced carbon dioxide between 2013 and 2015 stemming from BC-based fuel switch projects utilizing bio-coal.

According to the main players in the province’s emerging bio-coal industry, the higher cost of bio-coal compared to coal has been a barrier preventing industry giants like cement-makers Lafarge and Lehigh from committing to the switch. Now, the sale of offsets in conjunction with BC’s carbon tax on coal makes bio-coal a realistic option. 

Scott MacDonald, CEO of Pacific Carbon Trust noted, “The sale of offsets from projects that switch from traditional coal to bio-coal can help provide financial certainty in the crucial next steps for the bio-coal industry – reaching commercialization in BC.”

BC’s emerging bio-coal industry has enormous potential to meet local demand and become a major international supplier. A 2012 report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates that there is a need for 700 bio-coal plants worldwide, each with an annual output of 100,000 tonnes over the next decade.

The province’s own data forecasts that BC’s clean energy technologies will be worth $1 trillion by 2030. “In order to take advantage of that opportunity for economic growth and job creation, our government is taking a leading role in the development of our bio-energy sector,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell.

Commenting from the International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition in Prince George, Jerry Ericsson, president of bio-coal company Diacarbon Energy Inc, noted, “"British Columbia has tremendous potential to become a global leader in bioenergy by supporting the growth of the bio-coal industry. This RFP sends an important signal to investors that there will be a reliable market for bio-coal, which helps companies like Diacarbon move forward towards commercialization."