| ||The Consulate General of Canada in Seattle has commissioned a
comprehensive study of Bio-based Energy and Products Market
Opportunities in the Pacific Northwest from Seattle-based
This study is replete with contact information and background
details on the issues affecting the bio-energy marketplace in the
United States generally and the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho
and Alaska in particular. Here are a few extracts from the 60-plus
Bio-based energy and products are developing into an important
part of the Pacific Northwest economy as demand for energy
increases and non-renewable sources become scarcer. This market
opportunities assessment was produced on behalf of the Consulate
General of Canada in Seattle in order to assist Canadian companies
interested in bio-based energy business opportunities in the
western United States, specifically in the states of Washington,
Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. This market assessment is a comprehensive
guide for bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts resources.
United States snapshot
Federal policy affects all potential bioenergy and biofuels markets
across the United States. Some of the recent key policies relating
to energy and renewable alternatives include the Energy
Independence and Security Act of 2007, the Energy Policy Act of
2005, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 and the Energy
Policy Act of 1992.
Additionally, there are various regulatory agencies at the federal
level that influence bioenergy activities in the United States.
Some of the key agencies include: the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, whose mission is to protect human health and the
environment, the U.S. Department of Energy, charged with ensuring
energy security and promoting environmental responsibility and the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, who regulates the agricultural
industry, including crops that may be grown for biofuels.
Of the four western states evaluated, the state of Washington
emerged as the current leader in bioenergy activity. Washington has
numerous policies promoting the use of alternative energy and
various organizations, businesses and non-profits pursuing the
development of this economy. Additionally, Washington has the
potential to utilize considerable sources for biomass, including
from its forestry and agriculture activities.
The state of Oregon has the development of alternative energy as a
priority, as reflected in recent policies. The public research
institutions in Oregon have numerous programs to research and
develop renewable resources, including programs at Oregon State
University, Portland State University and the University of Oregon.
With Oregon's vast coverage of forest, Oregon also has the
opportunity to develop a renewable energy industry from woody
Idaho appears to have less momentum in the bioenergy industry than
Oregon and Washington, but this could be attributed to its smaller
population. The Idaho Energy Plan of 2007 identifies developing
in-state renewable resources as a priority for the state to reduce
its dependency on out-of-state non-renewable resources. Similar to
Oregon and Washington, Idaho has the opportunity to utilize biomass
from its forestry industry. Additionally, agriculture and
specifically dairy farms could provide a large amount of biomass to
produce renewable energy.
The state of Alaska provides a unique opportunity for the
development of a biofuels economy. The cold climate of Alaska may
create challenges not found in other states; however, the geography
of small populations and the current high cost of energy may create
beneficial opportunities for developing and testing bioenergy
technologies. The fishing industry in Alaska provides a
considerable opportunity for biodiesel production using fish waste
and Alaska also has a large amount of forest land that could
provide woody biomass to produce renewable energy.
The full study is available here