As is by now well known, ESG refers to a way of doing business that considers environmental, social and governance elements and how a business can focus its efforts on conducting business ethically in all three areas. Coalternative Energy’s philosophy is founded on this belief, and that social and environmental governance is of equal concern to profits. 

Climate change is undoubtedly the world’s biggest challenge, both economically and indeed for the long-term wellbeing of our species. It is no longer a scientific intellectual argument and is clearly being evidenced globally with increased flooding, heat waves, rising sea levels, melting ice caps and species extinction. 

As a result, since our inception, we’ve been focused on the “green sector” and in addressing the need of society to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, for both environmental and social reasons. These factors drove the company to develop projects using sustainable feed stocks to create a direct “drop in” replacement for coal.

Most of the world’s energy is still generated by burning coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. Yet migrating away from the “cheap energy” that is produced in this way is a huge challenge for society. However, the development of second-generation biofuels such as “black pellets” is a simple, viable and entirely environmentally favourable option. 

Through its Canadian subsidiary Powerwood Canada Corp, Coalternative Energy are developing a second-generation biofuel plant that converts wood from sustainable forestry sources in Canada’s Northern Alberta into “black pellets”. This process uses proven steam explosion technology.  

To achieve this Powerwood Canada has secured and maintains long term forestry rights over vast tracts of forestry in Northern Alberta. These forestry rights extend over some 4 million hectares of sustainable forestry land and have been granted by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. This will enable the company to sustainably harvest the feedstock required to produce circa 360,000 tonnes of black pellets annually for supply to the Japanese power market, thereby supporting their transition from coal. This entire process was designed to deliver the maximum return for investors, whilst creating a sustainable and environmentally advantageous project. 

Answering the environmental sceptics

Yet harvesting and cutting down trees, even if on a sustainable basis, to create fuel, to many environmentalists remains an anathema. This despite the science that says good forestry husbandry requires the harvesting of mature trees, given that a growing tree captures and retains far more carbon than a mature tree, and when older trees decay, they release both methane (the most damaging greenhouse gas) as well as stored carbon. As a result, the press continues to report the scepticism on the green credentials of this process. This has led Coalternative Energy’s decision to remove this concern from the equation. 

Following significant research, Coalternative Energy have entered an agreement with the local indigenous peoples in Northern Alberta (the Paddle Prairie Metis) to address a major environmental challenge they face because of the extraordinary damage caused by the 2019 and 2020 wildfires, and which wiped out circa 2,000 square kilometres of forestry on settlement land. Generally, when wildfires strike, the resultant tree ‘stands’ that are left, are left to decay, releasing simply huge amounts of methane and carbon into the atmosphere. This is because the wood ‘stands’ that remain have little to no commercial value and are extremely expensive to harvest. This has a catastrophic effect on the environment (please refer to our scientific article “dead wood” under the 

environmental tab on the www.coalternative-energy.com web site).

Our research led us to undertake tests on the fire damaged timbers. These tests established that they are a perfectly viable feed stock and can be converted to our second-generation biofuel with exactly the same process employed for non-fire-damaged wood.

The approach adopted by Coalternative has received great support and, as a result, tests have now also been undertaken on insect infested timbers, a major challenge in neighbouring British Columbia (BC), which also established their viability as a viable feed stock. Our second project is designed to address the challenges presented by “mountain Pine Beetle” which similarly affects millions of hectares in BC, and which results in the further destruction and eventual decay of vast areas of forestry. 


By working with various types of “dead wood” to create a viable carbon neutral biofuel that can act as a drop-in replacement for coal, and by working closely with indigenous peoples, adopting an inclusive and gender-neutral approach to employment that provides much needed income to the community, Coalternative Energy believe that they meet all the high ESG standards demanded of 21st Century corporations.