ONCE IMPLEMENTED IN 2010, CANADA’S FEDERAL ETHANOL MANDATE HAD AN IMMEDIATE EFFECT, REDUCING TRANSPORTATION SECTOR GHG EMISSIONS.
ECONOMIC IMPACT, AND GROWTH Canada’s renewable fuels sector generates $3.5 billion worth of annual economic activity, and has created over 14,000 jobs since 2007 – and there is more investment on the way thanks to RICanada members: • IGPC Ethanol Inc. is embarking on an ambitious expansion project, doubling capacity, which will make its ethanol plant one of the largest in Canada. It is the first ethanol plant in the world to implement Fiber Separation Technology that increases ethanol yield from corn and creates two new distillers grain products. • BIOX Corp. recently purchased, and is now upgrading, a shuttered biodiesel facility in Sombra, Ontario. • GreenField Global, Canada’s largest ethanol producer, is supplying excess biogenic
CO2, and in the near future will be supplying waste heat generated from its Chatham facility to Truly Green Farms, a low-carbon greenhouse operation located adjacent to the ethanol plant, and is also working on a process to upgrade distillers’ corn oil (a co-product of ethanol production) into biodiesel and/or industrial lubricants. Canada’s domestic biofuels industry will continue to undergo substantial growth moving forward as additional government policies, designed to secure further GHG emission reductions, come into place at the provincial and federal levels. VOLUMETRIC REQUIREMENTS AND COMPLEMENTARY POLICIES Biofuels have been proven to be the most effective mechanism to reduce transportation
sector GHG emissions. Current volumetric requirements for 5% ethanol in gasoline and 2% biodiesel in diesel fuel deliver reductions of 4.2 megatons in GHG emissions every year. This is the environmental GHG equivalent to removing one million vehicles from Canada’s roads. In fact, it was only following the introduction of volumetric requirements that we witnessed a ‘bending of the curve’ as GHG emissions began to grow at a slower rate than gasoline sales. All levels of government in Canada are contemplating how to achieve new GHG reductions as part of the fight against climate change. It is critical that new policy measures, like carbon pricing and clean fuel standards, are complemented by known and reliable GHG reductions policies. For the transportation section, that includes expanding national volumetric requirements to 10% ethanol and 5% biodiesel, an action which would present an immediate opportunity to reduce GHG emissions by an additional 4.5 megatons per year. Available here and now, the use of biofuels requires no new expenditures by consumers, nor any modifications in consumer behaviour. The success of volumetric requirements is unequivocal. For this reason, new policies such as the Clean Fuel Standard under development by the Government of Canada should be implemented in concert with expanded volumetric requirements. We hope you enjoy reading the ‘Canadian Bioeconomy’ series in Sustainable Business Magazine. The series features detailed profiles of RICanada members and showcases how their efforts are contributing to a more environmentally and economically sustainable future. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE