Today marks a big day for supporters of renewable fuel in Canada. The country’s Renewable Fuels Standard has officially gone into effect. This adds nearly two billion litres of renewable fuels including ethanol and biodiesel, into the country’s gasoline pool each year and according to the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) will “change the way Canadians drive going forward.” In addition, a second Renewable Fuels Standard specifically for biodiesel is expected to be enacted in the new year.
“Starting on December 15th, Canadians will be fueling change every time they drive. Five per cent of the gasoline that Canadians pump into their vehicles will come from renewable green sources harvested and produced across Canada,” said Gordon Quaiattini, president of CRFA. “Ethanol and biodiesel help diversify our fuel supply, add new income for farmers, and reduce harmful greenhouse gases.”
In a CRFA press release, they cited a third party Canadian study that showed ethanol reduced GHGs by 62 percent when compared to conventional gasoline and biodiesel shows a 99 percent reduction. When using the above calculations, the new RFS will eliminate 4.2 megatonnes of emissions each year or the equivalent of removing 1 million cars from Canada’s highways.
CRFA also cites the economic benefits of renewable fuels – construction of plants has generated nearly $3 billion in economic activity and ongoing activities represent a $2 billion annually. Farmers also receive higher incomes without the need for government programs and the country’s forestry sector is also seeing economic gains.
“With the renewable fuel standard coming into effect Canada is now positioned to become a world leader in advanced biofuels,” added Quaiattini. “The production and the commercialization of next generation advanced biofuels using state-of-the-art technologies and a wide variety of feedstocks is underway.”