Collective Biofuels Conference returns, heads to Vancouver Island

By Ron Kotrba | July 18, 2011

After no event last year, the Collective Biodiesel Conference is back Aug. 5-7 with a new venue—Duncan, Vancouver Island, Canada, a two-hour ferry ride north of Seattle—and a new name: the Collective Biofuels Conference. 

Jessy Bradish, conference coordinator, told Biodiesel Magazine that the conference name change was really about being more inclusive, allowing speakers and attendees from not only the biodiesel industry but also the ethanol and biorefining sectors, in addition to the straight vegetable oil segment. She said the event, however, is still 80 to 90 percent biodiesel-specific.

Despite the name change and new location, the same grassroots, community-scale focus will be present. The conference will feature 20 workshops on sustainable, small-scale biofuels production.

The keynote speaker will be Lyle Estill, co-founder of Pittsboro, N.C.-based Piedmont Biofuels. Estill plans to give a talk on Biodiesel’s New Leaf, which will cover successes and failures of community-scale fuel production. Estill’s third book, “Industrial Evolution: Local Solutions for a Low Carbon Future,” was released this May.

Josh Tickell’s new film “Freedom” will premiere at the event, and Bradish said Tickell will participate in a panel discussion and Q&A session.

Conference hosts include Cowichan Energy Alternatives and the Cowichan Bio-Diesel Cooperative.

The Collective Biodiesel Conference began in 2006 at the Colorado School of Mines, where it was held annually through 2008. In 2009, the conference went to Washington, D.C. The event was not held in 2010, and this year’s revival marks the first time for the Collective conference to be held in Canada, where Bradish said she hopes it will be held next year as well. 

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