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Report takes on Atlantica challenge

A newly released report sets out concrete actions for the implementation of renewable energy technologies in the At...


January 5, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

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A newly released report sets out concrete actions for the implementation of renewable energy technologies in the Atlantica Region’s forest products industry.

The report, released by the Atlantica BioEnergy Task Force, is comprised of a study compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The final result presents a series of 15 distinct actions to be taken in the areas of sustainable forest amd biomass management, energy, policy, education, research and development and technology implementation that will help drive industry in the Atlantica Region to the forefront of renewable energy economy.

The Task Force is made up of regional government, utilities, federal and regional organizations, as well as post secondary institutions. It operates under the mandate of ensuring the future sustainability and prosperity of the forest products industry in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the state of Maine – the region considered ‘Atlantica.’

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The region is rich in forests and has an historical dependence on the forest industry to support its economy. However, as Bruce MacIntyre, leader of PwC’s forest, paper and packaging practice in Canada and a partner in the firm’s sustainable business solutions practice notes, “the Region is now struggling to attract new investment and is facing the added challenges of high log and wage costs, weak markets, and energy costs that are above average. Without new investment, the business prospects for the Region’s forest products sector are bleak, with little room to improve energy efficiency, develop emerging technologies or generate new sources of revenue.”

The report shows all is not lost, however, indicating that available wood feedstock presents an opportunity for the production of bioenergy, biofuels, biochemicals and other bioproducts. It highlights the following recommendations:

       Sustainable forest management

       Transportation infrastructure

       Transmission and distribution systems

       Technology

      Greenhouse gas strategy

       Market development

       Financial support

       Regional collaboration in research and education

The summary report can be found by visiting: www.atlanticabioenergy.com