On April 12th, the government of Ontario amended its regulation of renewable content in gasoline and diesel fuel sold in the province. Starting in 2020, the province will double the required renewable content in regular gasoline to 10%, require minimum greenhouse gas reductions for all biofuels, and expand renewable fuel options to include emerging low-carbon fuel technologies.
Key elements of the updated regulations:
• Requiring gasoline suppliers to maintain an average of 10% renewable content in regular gasoline each calendar year, starting in 2020 (and in Northern Ontario in 2023)
• Requiring that renewable content meet an average lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) performance threshold of 45% fewer GHG emissions than those in petroleum gasoline
• Replacing the existing multiplier for cellulosic ethanol with an incentive for a wider range of lower carbon biofuels when their GHG reductions exceed the 45% threshold, assessed on a facility basis
• Expanding compliance opportunities for emerging renewable fuel technologies in both gasoline and diesel, such as co-processed biocrude
The amendment aligns the gasoline regulation with the structure of the existing Greener Diesel regulation, which requires 4% average renewable content of at least 70% lower GHG than petroleum diesel.
“Ontario’s updated fuels regulations position it as one of Canada’s leaders in renewable fuels policy,” says Ian Thomson, President of Advanced Biofuels Canada. “With higher biofuel blends and new carbon intensity requirements, the province is signaling new demand for low carbon advanced biofuels. The rural economy can contribute a wider array of sustainable agricultural and forestry crops and residues for these emerging biofuels. New revenues can help these sectors stay competitive in the tough international markets for their traditional crops and products. And more can be done with urban waste streams, which are already playing a role in biofuels.”
Advanced biofuels, which have GHG reductions of at least 50% below comparable fossil fuels, can play an important role in meeting the 2020 mandate and beyond. The new regulations may also bring much-needed competition to the fuels market, with the potential for consumers to access competitively priced ethanol blends such as E15 and E85 that can assist in meeting meet the new blend average.
The announcement comes with a commitment by the province to “provide funding to fuel distributors for high-blend sustainable biofuels and infrastructure upgrades to increase the availability and use of lower-carbon fuels.” This additional support for biofuels will be crucial in facilitating the transition to low-carbon transportation in Ontario. ABFC also notes potential for the province to realize deeper reductions in the diesel pool with a stronger renewable content requirement over time.
Advanced Biofuels Canada/ Biocarburants avancés Canada is the national voice for producers, distributors, and technology developers of advanced biofuels. ABFC promotes the production and use of low carbon advanced biofuels in Canada, which our members supply across North America and globally. These companies have invested in processing and supply chain operations across Canada and are actively bringing to market the next generation of low carbon biofuels. The organization has over a decade of provincial and federal leadership in biofuels policy and program design.