By September 15, 2017 Read More →

Renewable fuel standards can play greater role in reducing Canada’s GHG emissions


Ethanol plant

Ethanol blending in 2013 reduced gasoline-related GHG emissions by 2.1 megatonnes

The government’s existing mandate has played a key role in reducing the carbon intensity in gasoline, while providing market access and economic stability for Canada’s ethanol industry, according a new Conference Board of Canada report.

Maintaining Renewable Fuel Standards can be an integral part of Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future.

The climate benefits of blending are clear and well documented. Greenhouse gas emissions from the use of Canadian-produced ethanol are as much as 60 per cent lower than from gasoline use.

“Road transportation is the single largest source of GHG emissions in Canada and lowering the carbon footprint of the fuels we use will play an essential role in reducing GHG emissions,” said Len Coad, Research Director, The Conference Board of Canada.

Current estimates demonstrate that ethanol blending in 2013 reduced Canada’s gasoline-related GHG emissions by at least 2.1 megatonnes.

“Blend mandates already ensure that gasoline includes a low-carbon component,” said Coad.

The report, Renewable Fuel Standards Within a Low-Carbon Fuel Strategy, examines the role of blend mandates in a Clean Fuels Standard strategy. Findings include:

  • Blend mandates provide market certainty and a stable investment environment for expanded domestic ethanol capacity and continued technology development. The blend mandate sets a minimum requirement, which reduces competitive pressures a new plant will face. However, producers still compete against imports and each other.
  • Renewable fuel standards ensure market access for renewable fuels.
  • Blend mandates ensure the societal benefits of ethanol continue. Ethanol is made from renewable resources and reduces GHG emissions by more than 60 per cent relative to gasoline. It is also the lowest-carbon source of octane for gasoline blending and contributes to meeting tighter Clean Fuel Standards targets.

Funded by Renewable Industries Canada, Renewable Fuel Standards Within a Low-Carbon Fuel Strategy is the first briefing in a six-part series that examines the economics, emissions, technologies, and societal impacts of Canada’s fuel industry.


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