Alberta’s Bioenergy Sector: Report Card & Strategy Framework

Doug Hooper1 and Liz Brennan2.
1Partner, Waterfall Group, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
2Sustainability Specialist, Viresco Solutions, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Alberta’s Bioenergy Sector is a cornerstone of the province’s economic diversification and climate action strategies. The Alberta Bioenergy Producers Group (ABPG) represents the companies that produce, or are developing projects to produce, bioenergy in the province.[1] The group represents an unprecedented collaboration across all bioenergy platforms (liquid biofuels, biogas, wood pellets and biomass heat and power), which have come together to articulate a strong vision and clear recommendations for expanding low carbon bioenergy production.

The ABPG recently released two detailed studies[2] on the Alberta bioenergy sector. The studies identified over $600 million in new investment from 2007 to 2014 and found that the sector has grown to be a nearly $2 billion industry, requiring more than five thousand jobs in the operational phase, with an impact of more than $300 million on labour income and a nearly $800 million impact on provincial GDP. Greenhouse gas emissions avoided through bioenergy use, when compared to conventional energy emissions in Alberta, have grown from less than 1 million tonnes per year (MTY) in 2007 to 2.3 MTY in 2014, and are forecast to reach over 3.5 MTY by 2018.

In order to establish market conditions to sustain and grow a vibrant bioenergy sector in Alberta, the ABPG developed and submitted a detailed ‘Bioenergy Strategy Framework’ to the Climate Change Advisory Panel.[3] The Framework identifies core issues, strategic themes, and specific recommendations to unlock Alberta’s bioenergy potential to meet the twin goals of economic diversification and effective climate action. The presentation will focus on successful policy instruments, best practices, and lessons learned to transform ‘targets and goals’ into realities.



[1] Alberta Bioenergy Producers Map, Alberta Bioenergy Producers Group, September 2015:

[2] Brennan, L., Bioenergy Producer Report Card & Bioenergy Future Projections Report, Viresco Solutions, September 2015:

[3] Bioenergy Strategy Framework, Alberta Bioenergy Producers Group, September 2015: