Extending information,resources and links on renewable energy and energy conservation for Canadian farmers, agri-business and those who support them in order to enhance their ability to make sound and successful business decisions.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

New Opportunity for Renewable Energy Financing for Canadian Farmers

Farm Credit Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada have announced a new financing package for farmers interested in developing renewable energy enterprises on farm starting March 1, 2010.

Loans are available to buy and install on-farm renewable energy systems such as geothermal, biogas, wind or solar power.

I have some questions - 1. Are loans available for feasibility studies? 2. What kind of guarantee is FCC looking for? - i.e. Are loans awarded based on farm balance sheet or future income of the energy enterprise...

Whatever the answers may be this is definitely a positive move forward for lenders and farmers.
What are your questions? For more see www.fcc.ca

Monday, February 22, 2010

Creating a Renewable Energy & Conservation Information Network for Farmers

At the Canadian Farm Business Management Council, we like to find and work with others committed to extending information and ideas that help farmers make successful business decisions around energy. Here is a web-site brought to you by the folks at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture that shares our vision at http://www.farm-energy.ca/
If you know others - please share.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Canadian International Farm Show Toronto

I went to the BIG show today and found that it was big - I guess it has been a few years since I've attended. After I got over the size part I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of exhibitors in energy. Several were offering opportunities to conserve and produce energy together - which makes sense to me. Here are a couple of web-sites from exhibitors that impressed me and seemed to have alot of interest from show attendees - http://www.cleave-energy.com/ and http://www.greenandcleandirect.com/

Stay tuned for more about the big show and feel free to add your two cents...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bio-Diesel - It is going to be good some day

I was reading about a bio-diesel plant auction occuring in Tennessee this March. This plant had a good start up in 2008, but due to the U.S. credit crunch and feedstock cost increases, couldn't make a go of it.

Will the Renewable Fuel Standard in the U.S. rectify this? Some think so. This U.S. program is increasing the volume of renewable fuel required to be blended into gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012.

Do we need a program like this in Canada? Let me know what you think.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Embracing a Conservation Culture

We are embracing a conservation culture at home, work and at our farm but at times it feels as if it is against all odds. Customers still want product to specification no matter what season.
We suppy the floral industry with natural materials like birch poles, and greenery from our farm north of Toronto and we are currently working with a local greenhouse grower to supply a big event. It was hard not to argue with design choices that involve importing product from overseas when great alternatives were available locally and would better reflect the flavour of the event. Yes, the customer or designer may be right and now they also have some new ideas and awareness of what is available locally (no charge).
So my conclusions are that patience is one main ingredient required to embrace this culture as well as the tenacity to spread the conservation gospel. What's your point of view?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Biodiesel and the Agricultural Sector - Were they made for each other?

I'm skeptical of biodiesel and whether mandating use will boost the agricultural sector and reduce greenhouse gases. I've seen several conflicting reports on the environmental impact especially around oil-seed based fuel production. But what about the economic impact of mandating 2% biodiesel blends - will this help to boost prices and profits for Manitoba's growers? From what I can tell so far, their best shot at the benefits is to own a piece of the processing.

Another benefit is awareness - which can only help. What do you think - help or non-starter?

I found the Canadian Canola Grower's Association to be a good source of information at www.ccga.ca

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

PEI Ripe for Renewable Energy

The governments of Prince Edward Island and Canada have announced an investment of almost $10 million in renewable energy (and hopefully conservation but details are scetchy) under Agri-Flexibility and Canada's Economic Action Plan.

See http://news.gc.ca/web/article/-eng.do?m=index&nid=509409 for more.

What is the potential for conservation and renewable energy for Islanders?

Those in the know - please comment!