A Canadian perspective on the future of biofuels and bioenergy

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Courtesy of BioEnergy Conference & Exhibition

Concerns about grain-based biofuels include their “impact on food prices and availability,” said David B. Layzell, and that their capacity to contribute to liquid fuels is inadequate.

He said there are three main drivers for bioenergy: the rural economy, climate change, and energy security. In March 2008, the Government of Canada stated that its driver is the rural economy. “I think this is unfortunate,” Layzell said. “Canada’s policy should address energy security and climate change, and then the benefits to the rural economy will come.”

Canada exports more than 50% of the energy it produces. “We are an energy superpower,” Layzell said. Natural gas production is currently peaking, however, and the quantity available for export will decrease. As a result, “we will be increasingly dependent on less friendly areas of the world.” Bioenergy currently comprises 5% of Canada’s total energy use. “If we want it to contribute significantly to energy security and climate change, we need to start talking at a scale that will make a difference,” he said.

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