Renewable Fuels Association Wants 10 Per Cent Biofuel

Canada’s renewable fuels industry is pressing the federal government to double the percentage of renewable fuels it will require in gasoline and diesel, the head of the industry association said Nov. 29.

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association wants Ottawa to raise the ethanol-in-gasoline mandate from five per cent to 10 per cent and the still-to-be-implemented biodiesel threshold from two per cent to five, president Gordon Quaiattini said.

Canada’s five per cent ethanol requirement takes effect across Canada on Dec. 15 after the government passed federal renewable fuel regulations into law in September. Several provinces already have ethanol mandates in place.

A start date for the two per cent renewable content in diesel has not yet been set but Ottawa has committed to implementing it in 2011, Quaiattini said.

“We are absolutely talking to government about wanting to expand those mandates,” Quaiattini told Reuters in an interview on the day the association released a report on the state of the fledgling industry.

The document came a day after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said ethanol and other renewable fuels must account for at least 8.01 per cent of the motor fuels sold in 2011 at U.S. service stations to comply with a federal mandate.

The Canadian government has set aside $1.5 billion over nine years to invest in the sector, which generates about two billion litres of biofuel a year. The sector has grown exponentially in Canada in the past five years but still only makes up two per cent of biofuels produced worldwide and four per cent of U.S. output.

Quaiattini declined to speculate on a timetable for the higher renewable fuel standards the industry is asking for but said they should be in place much more quickly than the first batch.

“We expect to do it at a pace much quicker than the first build-out. We now have the policy and regulatory framework in place. We don’t need to duplicate that going forward,” he said.

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