Biomass program continues to support transition to renewable energy in Manitoba
By Top Crop Manager
August 2, 2016 - The Canada and Manitoba governments are supporting a greener, more sustainable economy through the $1-million Biomass Energy Support Program.
Applications are currently being accepted for this continuing program, which is funded under Growing Forward 2. It includes $500,000 in grants to help coal users transition to renewable biomass fuel. Another $500,000 is available for applied research projects that support the growth of the biomass industry in Manitoba.
“The Government of Canada is committed to increasing the use of clean and sustainable technology,” says Canada's agriculture minister, Lawrence MacAulay. “Making investments in the use of renewable biomass fuels through research and innovative practices will help the agricultural sector to be more competitive in a global economy, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Funding can be used to convert coal heating systems to use biomass as the fuel source. Current biomass manufacturers can also apply to expand their operations and meet consumer demands. The maximum grant available is $50,000. Eligible biomass fuels include:
- agricultural residue such as wheat and flax straw, sunflower hulls or compacted biomass-like wheat and oat pellets;
- forestry residues such as wood chips or salvaged timber; and
- biomass crops such as switchgrass, willow and poplar.
Projects with short turnaround times that support Manitoba’s coal reduction goal are given priority in the funding approval process. The funding for applied research projects is intended to address gaps or identify opportunities for business and technology in the biomass sector.
The deadline to apply for research and capital upgrade grants from the Biomass Energy Support Program is Sept. 30. For more information about the program and how to apply, visit:
Last year, 21 projects received funding from this program. Since 2012, it has invested approximately $3 million to help farms and businesses transition to biomass energy, leveraging additional contributions of approximately $3 million. Projects have reduced the amount of coal used by over 10,000 tonnes and greenhouse gas emissions by over 15,000 tonnes annually.
The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets. For more information, go to www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/growing-forward-2.