Government of Ontario Expands Biofuels Support to Tackle Climate Change and Drive Clean Growth
by Rony Delucia (Advanced Biofuels Canada) The government of Ontario announced today new initiatives to strengthen the biofuels sector in the province, improve the environmental performance of fuels, and encourage the production of emerging advanced biofuels.
Proposed changes to biofuels regulations include increasing the current 5% ethanol mandate to 10% starting in 2020, requiring ethanol sold for compliance to be 35% lower in greenhouse gases than gasoline, and enabling a wider range of advanced biofuels to meet both the Ethanol in Gasoline and the Greener Diesel regulations. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change also announced an expanded scope for the previously proposed biofuel blender support program to enable infrastructure upgrades and expanded availability of lower carbon intensity fuels in transportation.
“Ontario was amongst the first provinces to provide drivers with more choice at the pump. Higher ethanol blends are likely to bring even more choice, and with it, increased competition” says Ian Thomson, President of Advanced Biofuels Canada. “Biofuels produced in Ontario already have a very low carbon intensity, and adding emerging advanced biofuels to the mix will drive transportation emissions down further. This will create expanded job and growth opportunities for Ontario’s agricultural, forestry, and waste sectors.”
Amongst the implications of this announcement, Advanced Biofuels Canada notes that a 10% ethanol mandate is likely to see sales of E15, E25/30 and E85 blends to meet the new average. In other jurisdictions, these blends have created a greatly expanded role for the independent fuels sector. The association also notes the acknowledgment that measures beyond mandates are needed to reduce transportation emissions. Says Thomson, “For biofuels to compete on a level playing field, we need to see compliance credits at a level that encourage new fuels suppliers to enter the market. We also need to ensure than Ontario’s carbon prices are properly reflected in gasoline and diesel prices. Until these are in place, governments do have a role to address a sector that is broadly known to need tough, specific measures to bring emissions down.”
Advanced Biofuels Canada looks forward to continuing to work with the province to realize the full potential of advanced biofuels in these proposals, and to work towards a comparably stronger low carbon mandate in diesel fuels.
Advanced Biofuels Canada/ Biocarburants avancés Canada promotes the production and use of low carbon advanced biofuels in Canada, which our members supply across North America and globally. These companies have invested in biofuels processing and supply chain operations across Canada, and are actively bringing to market the next generation of low carbon biofuels. The organization has a decade of leadership in policy and program design for biofuel demand and sustainable production conditions for our domestic biofuels industry. For information on Advanced Biofuels Canada and our members, please visit: www.advancedbiofuels.ca.
Advanced biofuels reduce carbon emissions at least 50% below the fossil fuels they displace, and are made from sustainable biomass. Canada has approximately 750 million litres of advanced biofuel production capacity, and fuels produced in Canada are used across North America and Europe. READ MORE
Ontario to double gasoline’s ethanol content requirement (Globe and Mail)
Ontario proposes increased blend mandate (Ethanol Producer Magazine)
GFO welcomes proposed increase to ethanol mandate in Ontario (RealAgriculture)
Ontario Proposes 10 Percent Ethanol Mandate (AgNet West)
Statement on Ontario’s Proposed Biofuels Regulations (Growth Energy)
Excerpt from Ethanol Producer Magazine: A comment period on the proposal is open through Jan. 23, followed by a final rule and legislation. Jim Grey, chair of Renewable Industries Canada, said he’s hopeful legislation could be passed and implemented in the next few months.
The proposal also would:
– Expand the existing incentive for advanced renewable fuel technology to emerging technologies, including renewable gasoline and biocrude, and include a compliance value for renewable gasoline and biocrude, to be informed by consultations.
– Calculate the lifecycle GHG performance of a fuel in carbon intensity (CI) using GHGenius version 4.03a, or a subsequent model adopted by the director.
– Require that a professional engineer certify that primary data used in the CI calculations are reasonable and the calculations are correct.
Grey said RICanada has been campaigning on the federal and provincial levels for higher ethanol blends for some time. Quebec is looking at a policy similar to Ontario’s he said, noting that the majority of Canada’s population resides in Quebec and Ontario.
On the federal level, RICanada is pushing for a meaningful Clean Fuel Standard, the framework of which could be published before the end of the year. “Our position is a CFS coupled with a mandate is the best opportunity to lower emissions in the transportation sector.
“It’s clear that ethanol blended into gasoline reduces GHG emissions. I don’t think anyone’s arguing that.” The federal government is exploring incentives for electric vehicle purchases and expanded infrastructure for charging stations, but ethanol has much more near-term benefits. “Changing blending is something that can be immediately impactful.” READ MORE