Forums on Agricultural Biomass for Combustion Energy (2012)


The Steering Committee for the Project to Commercialize Agricultural Biomass for Combustion Energy, co-led by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Ontario Power Generation (OPG), hosted three biomass forums – the first on agronomic aspects of agricultural biomass (February 11, 2011), the second on technologies and end-users/market needs (April 14, 2011), and the third on business/economic issues (November 22, 2012).

These forums brought the Steering Committee and its Working Groups, as well as growers, biomass end-users, entrepreneurs and anyone else with an interest in agricultural biomass for combustion energy up-to-date on the state of knowledge.

Forum participants had the opportunity to share information and help identify gaps that may need to be filled as the Steering Committee coordinates its analysis of the feasibility of commercializing agricultural biomass for the production of combustion energy in Ontario.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, which holds a seat on the Steering Committee, is pleased to provide web access (below) to the speakers’ presentations from the Feb. 11, 2011 agronomy forum, the April 14, 2011 technology forum and the Nov. 22, 2012 business forum.

Note:  Some of the presentations below are quite large so a broadband connection is recommended.

Agricultural Biomass Business Forum
November 22, 2012

Facilitator: Gabrielle Ferguson, OMAFRA

9:30 – 9:45 Welcome and Introduction

  •  John Kelly, Chair – Business Case Working Group, Steering Committee

9:45 – 10:30 “Assessment of Business Case for Purpose-Grown Biomass in Ontario” – discussion of findings (please review the report in advance to enhance discussion)

  • John Kelly, Erie Innovation and Commercialization
  • Aung Oo, Western University Research Park

Presentation: John Kelly, Aung Oo, Charles Lalonde, Don Hewsen Production Economics Comparison of Purpose-Grown Biomass and Ontario Major Crops

10:30 – 10:45 Refreshment Break

10:45 – 12:00 Panel: Domestic Biomass Energy Opportunities (focus on heat)
Moderator: Ian MacDonald, OMAFRA

12:00 –12:15 Business Risk Management for Biomass Producers: Advanced Payments Program

12:15 – 1:15 Lunch

1:15 – 2:15 Panel: Investment Capital and Business Models
Moderator: Jennifer Stevenson, OMAFRA

2:15 – 2:30 GRO Summit (March 4-5, 2013, London, ON) – Building on today’s forum

2:30 – 2:45 Networking

2:45 – 3:45 Panel: Export Opportunities for Biomass Energy Products
Moderator: George Mandrapilias, Ministry of Economic Development & Innovation

3:45 – 4:00 Wrap-Up

November 23, 2012      

Seminar: Fernando Preto, Natural Resources Canada – Opportunities and Obstacles in the Use of Agricultural Biomass in the Production of Heat and Power

Feb. 11, 2011

Agronomy Forum: What Is Known About Growing Agricultural Biomass for Combustion Energy in Ontario?  What Still Needs to be Known?

10:00 - 10:30 Welcome/Introduction/Context

  • Rene Van Acker, OAC, University of Guelph, Chair of the Forum 
  • Lovleen Bassan, OPG and Rena Hubers, OMAFRA; Co-chairs, Steering Committee for the Project to Commercialize Agricultural Biomass for Combustion Energy

10:30 – 12:15 Perennial Grasses Panel: Miscanthus, Switchgrass, Polycultures – Growing, Harvesting, Storage, Sustainability

12:15 – 1:00 Lunch

1:00 – 1:25 Short-Rotation Woody Biomass – Growing, Harvesting, Storage, Sustainability

  • Naresh Thevathasan, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph
  • Part One and Part Two

1:25 – 1:50 Agricultural Residues – crops, harvesting logistics, soil, sustainability

1:50 – 2:15 Agricultural Biomass Opportunities in Northern Ontario

2:15 – 3:00 Facilitated Discussion – Gabrielle Ferguson, OMAFRA (facilitator)

  • Research and Information Gaps/Needs

April 14, 2011

Technology Forum:   Processing Agricultural Biomass for Combustion
 Energy to Meet End-User Needs

9:30 - 9:45 Welcome/Introduction/Context

  • René Van Acker, OAC, University of Guelph, Chair of the Forum  

9:45 – 11:55 Biomass End-Users Panel

11:55 – 12:25 Discussion on On-Farm and Off-Farm Biomass Storage Options

12:25 – 1:10 Lunch

1:10 – 3:00 Feedstock and Processing Alternatives Panel

3:00 – 3:30 Linking the Technologies to the Markets

3:30 – 4:15 Discussion on Whether, When and How to Develop Various Agricultural Biomass Supply Chains in Ontario

  • Gabrielle Ferguson, OMAFRA (facilitator)

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