Dec. 1, 2010, Ottawa – The release of a report card on the Canadian renewable fuels industry shows that ethanol and biodiesel in Canada are delivering tangible economic and environmental results. It also shows that Canada is “now leading the way in the development and commercialization of advanced biofuels, which promise even greater benefits for our economy and our environment.” The report card, released by the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA), is entitled Growing Beyond Oil: Delivering Our Energy Future. It is the first national comprehensive review of the state of the homegrown biofuels industry.
The report card shows that in the last five years, $2.3 billion has been invested in the construction of new biofuel production facilities across the country, representing almost 2.0 billion litres/year in domestic production capacity. The construction of biofuels facilities created approximately $3 billion in economic activity. The biofuels sector also expanded the tax base at the local, provincial, and federal levels by $1.5 billion/year.
Homegrown Canadian biofuels have an equally significant environmental impact. On a life-cycle analysis, ethanol in Canada reduced GHGs at a rate of 62% compared to traditional fossil fuels; biodiesel reduced GHGs by a remarkable 99%.
The Canadian industry is poised to commercialize no fewer than four next-generation technologies in ethanol, as well as several biodiesel advancements. Beyond that, a diversity of advanced biofuels is taking shape. For example, Canada’s forestry sector is poised to become a world leader in diverting biomass from wood waste and byproducts to create renewable fuels. Similarly, a variety of other technologies show promise in the production of biofuels derived from such diverse biomass feedstocks as corncobs, switchgrass, straw, municipal waste, and algae.
To capitalize on the advanced biofuels opportunity, the CRFA is calling on the federal government to establish a new Interdepartmental Working Group on Advanced Biofuels to include senior-ranking officials from the key federal government departments with Cabinet oversight. This group would serve as a focal point for policy development and coordination within the federal government, allowing for enhanced accountability and a sharper focus on policy outcomes.
To read the report, click here.