Renewable fuels potential heats up in PEI
By Dave Harrison
Feb. 3, 2010, New London, P.E.I. — The federal and Prince Edward Island governments are partnering to help farmers reduce energy costs and generate new income opportunities through renewable fuels.
This investment of $9.9 million will support two projects that will help to improve farmers’ profitability, improve environmental sustainability of Canadian agriculture and help drive the Canadian economy.
“Farmers have always been good stewards of the land and they know that investing in the environment is key to their future success,” said Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea. “Canada’s Economic Action Plan is boosting our economic recovery by helping farmers find new markets, adapt to current economic challenges and make their businesses more energy efficient and environmentally sustainable.”
The federal investment under the AgriFlexibility fund, part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, totals $5.9 million for two new projects:
• $4.2 million for the Renewable Energy Initiative, that will audit and promote the use of agriculture-based renewable energy sources and equipment.
• $1.7 million for the BioEconomy Crop Initiative, that will evaluate the economic and environmental benefits of crops such as fall rye, perennial grasses and hybrid willows to plant and harvest for energy generation.
“Energy represents a significant cost for producers, and we are pleased to partner with the federal government and the industry to help address this issue,” said Prince Edward Island Agriculture Minister George Webster. “Through these new initiatives, producers will be able to reduce their costs, develop new markets and benefit the environment. This initiative is part of the provincial government’s Rural Action Plan which supports new and innovative energy projects to improve the competitiveness of the agriculture industry.”
The province is investing $2.8 million in the Renewable Energy Initiative and $1.2 million in the BioEconomy Crop Initiative. Funding is subject to the projects meeting all eligibility requirements and the signing of contribution agreements. Canada’s Economic Action Plan will remain focused on strengthening the economy, while working towards returning to balanced budgets and securing Canada’s economic future.