Bioenergy Programs

Bioenergy is any renewable energy or fuel derived from biological sources. There are several potential feedstocks for bioenergy in Alberta including agricultural products (such as corn or canola), forestry waste and livestock waste.

The following programs were launched as an incentive for producers of bioenergy with the intent to encourage bioenergy development and production.


2016 In the fall of 2016 the government announcedexternal link icon a Bioenergy Producer Programexternal link icon to allow producers to transition from the bioenergy programs that were in place from 2006 until 2016.
2014 Four bioenergy success stories were featured in this site the Enerkem waste-to-biofuels facility and Lethbridge Biogas plus two using forestry waste AL-Pac and West Fraser mills.
2013 The programs were closed to new applicants through Budget 2013external link icon , and a notice was placed on the BPCP program and forms page of this site and that time.These programs were offered under the Energy Grants Regulationexternal link icon .
2010 Alberta’s 2010 Renewable Fuels Standardexternal link icon (RFS) requires commercial fuel producers to blend renewable products into their fuels. The RFS requires an average of five per cent renewable alcohol (ethanol) in gasoline and two per cent renewable diesel in diesel fuel sold in Alberta., the program along with forms and reportsexternal link icon is available on the Environment and Parks website.
2008 In December 2008, the Biorefining Commercialization and Market Development Program and the Bioenergy Infrastructure Development Program were announced they ran from 2009 to 2011.
Bioenergy Grant Program Recipients
2006   The Nine-Point Bio-Energy Planexternal link icon (2006) encouraged investment in Alberta’s bioenergy market to create a long-term, sustainable industry. 

    Next Steps 

Through the Climate Leadership Planexternal link icon , the Alberta government is committed to growing the province’s renewable energy sector and making Alberta one of the most environmentally responsible energy producers in the world. The Government of Alberta remains committed to exploring options to ensure a viable bioenergy sector in the province.

    Biofuel types 

Fuel ethanol is a form of alcohol, fermented and distilled from a wide range of plant life such as wheat, corn or canola. Through a process called hydrolysis of grain starch, starches found in plants are converted to sugars that are fermented to produce ethanol. This ethanol is then distilled and dried to produce anhydrous ethanol. New technologies, often referred to as ‘second generation ethanol technologies’ are also emerging that allow raw materials such as forestry waste or municipal solid waste to be turned into ethanol.

Ethanol can be mixed with gasoline for use in motor vehicles. Many ethanol blended gasolines are available throughout Canada, typically varying from five to 10 per cent ethanol blend. The Renewable Fuel Standard in Alberta requires an average of five per cent renewable alcohol in gasoline and two per cent renewable diesel in diesel fuel.

Ethanol blended gasoline improves engine performance while lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Gasoline containing 10 per cent ethanol reduces emissions by three to eight per cent.

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, recycled cooking greases or animal fats. It can be used either as a blended fuel with petroleum diesel or as a pure fuel. Blended biodiesel can often be used without any engine modification.

Biodiesel reduces the level of several diesel pollutants including sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Biogas may be referred to as “renewable natural gas” or “green methane,” containing approximately 70 per cent methane. Biogas is created through the fermentation of organic feedstock, including manure, food processing waste or various plant life.

Biodigestors heat organic feedstock, causing anaerobic bacteria to multiply and feed on solids within the feedstock. The byproduct of this is biogas. As the gas is produced, it rises to the top of the digester and is collected into a piping system.

Biogas is often used in the generation of electricity to generate heat and steam to drive turbines.