New Face for Canada’s Biofuels, Biobased Sectors

CRFA mission moves beyond biofuels, rebranding itself as Renewable Industries Canada.
By Andrea Kent | June 09, 2016

It is an exciting time for Canada’s renewable fuels and biobased product sectors.  Industry leaders are impacting the energy landscape greatly, building the nation’s biobased economy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

To reflect this, the national voice of Canada’s biofuels sector has rebranded from the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association to Renewable Industries Canada. The change reinforces our 32-year-old association’s mission to promote the use of value-added products made from renewable resources. RICanada’s mandate now goes beyond renewable fuels to include advanced biofuels and policy programs that will support greater research, development and commercialization of renewable and biobased industrial products. For us, this is a natural extension of who we are and what we do best.

I can’t think of a more fitting time for our association to update itself. After all, just take a look at what renewable fuels producers are doing. Our industry and member companies have been hard at work growing their businesses and diversifying their products beyond liquid transportation fuels for some time, while governments increasingly are searching for ways to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change.

As important as we believe these changes to our brand are, biofuels always will be a core focus of our work and a proud part of who we are. RICanada will continue to work with all levels of government to increase biofuel content requirements, open new market opportunities for renewable fuels and ensure producers of GHG-reducing fuels and products are recognized fairly in carbon pricing models.

Biofuels helped start the transition to low-carbon fuel and remain a valued and needed part of any successful low-carbon strategy going forward. They are the quickest route to GHG emission reductions within the transport sector, accounting for approximately 23 percent of Canada’s total emissions. Canadian biofuels producers already have helped remove the equivalent of 1 million cars worth of carbon emissions from Canada’s roads every year.

More can be done. Liquid fuels will be required for years to come, while the potential of other renewable energy sources and electric vehicles are being harnessed sufficiently, and biofuels are a simple solution to help governments meet emission reduction targets. They also may be the only option for the heavy-duty sector to reduce its emissions in the longer term. The more renewable fuels we use, the greater the emission reductions from the transportation sector will be.

With that in mind, RICanada is proposing a strategy to reduce emissions by another 4 million metric tons, whereby the mandated amount of ethanol blended into Canadian gasoline is increased from 5 to 10 percent and the biodiesel content of diesel fuel is increased from 2 to 5 percent. This would bring the total emission reductions from biofuels in Canada to almost 9 million metric tons, removing the equivalent emissions of another 1 million cars from our roads.

As many of Canada’s ethanol producers already have shown, growing beyond biofuels is not only possible, it’s essential. I’m proud to say that Renewable Industries Canada has followed suit. Together, we will continue to grow the industry to the benefit of all Canadians for years to come.

Author: Andrea Kent
Renewable Industries Canada