Expanding the renewable natural gas market

Natural gas flame. (Photo courtesy © CanStockPhoto.com/MShake)

The province is looking at ways to allow farmers to expand in the emerging renewable natural gas market.

Another goal is to make Ontario a North American leader in the biogas sector.

Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Ernie Hardeman announced consultations will start and focus on changes designed to reduce red tape and grow untapped economic opportunities for on-farm biogas operations.

He mande the announcement at the OFA annual general meeting in Hamilton.

Hardeman says they want the consultations to pinpoint potential changes that could enable Ontario’s $35 million dollar-a-year biogas sector to grow by up to 50 per cent over the next five years.

Hardeman says they will also look at opportunities to enable biogas upgrading to produce renewable natural gas on-farm, ways to streamline approvals, and requirements for off-farm and agricultural feedstocks.

And that could lead to Ontario food processors having an alternative to landfill disposal that could save the sector millions of dollars while encouraging the recycling of nutrients to reduce greenhouse gases and encourage the return of organic materials to agricultural land to build soil health and fertility for crop production.