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Biogas is not the answer

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We owe it to our children to think outside the box on biogas

By Auston Chhor | Opinion | October 27th 2022 7-9 minutes

Photograph of anaerobic digesters, Tel-Aviv 2005 Photographer: Alex Marshall (Wikimedia Commons)

Most Canadians support some form of action to tackle climate change and large investments and carbon levies to accomplish our climate-fighting goals. But when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, our best laid climate plans often fall short.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in Canada earlier this week to explore renewable energy production and trade to reduce Europe’s reliance on fossil fuels. Germany is especially reliant on importing energy from Russia, which invaded Ukraine six months ago, instigating a war that has shocked the world in its brutality. The bottom line is the need for green energy innovation and production on a global scale has never been more urgent.

Canada needs to cut our 2005 carbon emission levels by 40 per cent in eight years in order to meet our 2030 Emission Reduction Plan targets, and we don’t have a great track record of achieving the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission goals we set in the past.

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as buying an electric vehicle or installing solar panels.

Meeting our 2030 target will require innovation and purpose, especially from energy suppliers who can deliver emission reduction on a large scale.

We owe it to our children, who will pay the price for our failure in combating climate change, to think outside the box of conventional renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydro.

Unfortunately, there are only eight years left to unlock the potential of renewable gases before we will be judged on whether we met our emission reduction targets. We are at the point where we just can’t afford to miss them anymore.

What we need now is a true partnership with federal and provincial governments to generate more biogas supply and innovation, and incentives for more large-scale energy users to adopt it.

Brandon Moffatt is co-founder at StormFisher Hydrogen with experience developing regulatory and industry policy in renewable energy. He has led the development, design and construction of several complex renewable gas production facilities across North America and has a detailed understanding of the commercial and operational aspects of power-to-hydrogen and power-to-gas projects. Brandon is also a board member of the Ontario Environment Industry Association, has an MBA from the Odette School of Business and holds a B.A.Sc. in environmental engineering from the University of Waterloo.

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