Report highlights Canadian biogas potential

By Erin Voegele | December 20, 2013

In Canada, the Biogas Association recently published a report that highlights the potential of its domestic biogas sector. The study, titled “Canadian Biogas Study: Benefits to the Economy, Environment, and Energy,” was authored by Kelleher Environmental under a contract.

According to the report, biogas sources in Canada have the potential to contribute 810 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the nation’s energy supply, equating to approximately 1.3 percent of demand, or 2,420 million cubic meters per year of renewable natural gas (RNG), which is 3 percent of the nation’s natural gas demand.

Agriculture is listed as the most significant source of biogas, capable of generating 550 MW of power or 1,650 million cubic meters of RNG. Landfill gas also has great potential, with enough resources to generate 95 Mw of power or 290 million cubic meters per year of RNG. Additional biogas resources in Canada include source separated organic (SSO) residential, SSO commercial and wastewater.

The report indicate that Canada’s biogas sources have the potential to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 37.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. Agricultural digesters represent 68 percent of the biogas opportunity, followed by landfill gas projects at 12 percent.

According to the study, if the full potential of Canadian biogas development was realized, it would mean the construction of up to 1,800 projects representing a capital investment of $7 billion. The development would also support more than 100 new and expanded companies, including project developers, equipment suppliers, laboratories and others.

A fully copy of the report, which includes a variety of case studies, can be downloaded here.