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Advanced Biofuels Canada releases annual ‘Biofuels in Canada’ 2021 report

Renewable and low-carbon transportation energy consumption in Canada (Image: Advanced Biofuels Canada)

Advanced Biofuels Canada announced the release of the Biofuels in Canada 2021 report, with full open-source access to Canadian market data for renewable, low-carbon, and conventional fuels.

This report is fifth in a series commissioned annually by Advanced Biofuels Canada and independently authored by Navius Research, a leading energy and environment quantitative market analysis firm. It provides an evaluation of Canadian renewable and low carbon fuel policies and their impact on fuel consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction, and consumer costs.

“Canadians need a timely, accurate window into the demand and supply of transport fuels, especially for the growing share of advanced biofuels,” said Ian Thomson, president of Advanced Biofuels Canada. “The 2021 BIC report continues to evolve to keep pace with our dynamic fuels sector and it has become an indispensable resource for industry, policymakers, and researchers. The impact of emerging practical solutions, such as electric mobility and refinery coprocessing, are new to this report, and we’ll continue to expand the scope of the research to track the market transformation away from fossil fuels.”

Cumulative cost impact resulting from ethanol blending in the gasoline pool and biomass-based diesel blending in the diesel pool (2010-'19), total percent change in data label (Image: Advanced Biofuels Canada)

The annual report calculates the volumes of renewable and petroleum transportation fuels consumed in each Canadian province, and characterizes these calculations by fuel type, feedstock, and carbon intensity. Clean fuels profiled include ethanol, biodiesel, and hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel (HDRD); biobased feedstocks coprocessed with crude oil in a conventional refinery are also analyzed.

New analyses in the 2021 edition also include: estimated results for 2020; an update on the impact of light-duty electric vehicles on fuel consumption and GHG emissions; and the estimated contribution of coprocessed fuels on fuel consumption and GHG emissions.

The report’s highlights for the past decade (2010-’19) include:

  • Biofuel consumption increased as follows: ethanol (+75 percent; to 2,985 ML), biodiesel (+191 percent to 360 ML), and renewable diesel (+1,077 percent to 432 ML)

  • Annual avoided greenhouse gas emissions from biofuel consumption increased from 2.1 Mt in 2010 to 6.4 Mt in 2019 (+205 percent). Total avoided emissions were 47 Mt CO2e.

  • Biofuel consumption in Canada has reduced consumer fuel costs by CAD$2 billion

  • Volumetric taxation of biofuels and the improper application of carbon taxes on biofuels have generated surplus tax revenues to governments of CAD$2.4 billion. Fair taxation of biofuels would have reduced consumer fuel costs by CAD$231 million in 2019.

  • In 2019, the national blending rate for ethanol in gasoline was 6.5 percent, and biodiesel and HDRD blends totaled 2.9 percent in diesel fuels

“The report makes a clear case for new action by federal and provincial governments to strengthen renewable and low carbon fuel regulations to increase renewable content in fuels,” Thomson said. “Canada can’t meet 2030 or 2050 transportation GHG goals without significantly increasing low-carbon biofuel content in gasoline and diesel—our fuel regulations have proven affordable and effective in reducing greenhouse gases. But, taxing these fuels on a volumetric basis is perverse. It makes low-carbon fuels more expensive than fossil fuels and slows our transition off of fossil fuels. Investments in new and expanded production of advanced biofuels and nonfossil synthetic fuels are poised to boost Canada’s cleantech sector and add new jobs across the country, but we need to align the fuel-tax systems and strengthen the regulatory signals to hit our targets.” The full report and data tables are available here.

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