WHEREAS the Government of Canada has initiated a Renewable Fuel Standard for the purposes of establishing a 2% biofuel content for diesel and heating oil and a 5% ethanol content for gasoline to be instituted by the year 2012; and
WHEREAS the Province of Alberta introduced a Bioenergy Plan designed to align the Province with the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard by 2010 to create market stability; and
WHEREAS other Provinces within Canada have adopted Renewable Fuel Standards to bring their jurisdictions up to the Federal Renewable Fuel Standard; and
WHEREAS adopting a Renewable Fuel Standard within the Province of Alberta would provide the impetus for the development of the biofuel industry as well as provide domestic markets, potential for growth and financial stability to the agricultural industry;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to establish a Renewable Fuel Standard Policy of 2% biofuel content for diesel fuel and a 5% ethanol content for gasoline for fuel sold within the Province of Alberta by 2010 expect with respect to high test fuel.
In early in 2006 the Federal Government initiated a Canadian Renewable Fuel Standard for 2% biofuel content within diesel and heating oil by 2012 and a 5% ethanol in gasoline by 2010.
On October 3, 2006, Honourable Doug Horner, then Minister of Agriculture introduced Alberta’s Nine-Point Bioenergy Plan with the following quote:
“This investment provides a significant opportunity to position Alberta as a leader in producing renewable energy from organic materials. The development of bioenergy infrastructure within the province will not only add great value to our agriculture industry, it will also contribute to the long-term sustainable growth of Alberta’s economy and strengthen our rural communities.”
Alberta’s Nine-Point Bioenergy Plan includes the following Proposed Policy Initiatives:
Align to a Five per cent national renewable fuels standard by 2010 to create market stability that will benefit a future market for newly established fuel technologies. Within the overall renewable fuels mandated target, support ethanol and biodiesel mandates should be specifically designated to ensure the emerging biodiesel industry has an opportunity to capture some of the benefits of a renewable fuels mandate.
A Federal Renewable Fuel Standard was introduced to Parliament on December 20, 2006 whereupon shortly after the Alberta Government issued the following press release:
“The Government of Alberta is committed to helping develop the bioenergy industry and supports a Renewable Fuel Standard to mandate the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline.”
Federal legislation to create a national Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), Bill C-33, recently received third reading and now only requires senate approval to become law. Once this legislation is approved, the province of Alberta must move forward in establishing a provincial standard that is in line with the Federal policy, otherwise the potential for Alberta to become the dumping ground for ethanol and biodiesel produced in other jurisdictions, who in many respects are far advanced in development compared to Alberta, becomes a real possibility. A chance for the diversification of agricultural produce will have been lost.
Currently the policies regarding biofuel in other Canadian provinces can be summarized as follows:
The province of British Columbia has indicated that it will implement a 5% average RFS for diesel by 2010 and will support the federal RFS by requiring a 5 % renewable content in the provinces gasoline by 2010.
The province of Saskatchewan had indicated that it will not require a RFS for diesel fuel, but will require a content of 7.5% for gasoline.
The province of Manitoba has indicated that it will not require a RFS for diesel, but will require a RFS content of 8.5% for gasoline by 2008.
The province of Ontario is currently developing a RFS for diesel fuel but has indicated that it will require a content of 5% for gasoline with the possibility that it could increase the required content to 10%.
What Should a Biofuel Policy Contain?
Alberta Renewable Fuel Standard Policy should contain the declaration that all Gasoline sold in Alberta must contain an annual average minimum of 5% Ethanol by 2010 and that all Diesel and heating oil sold in Alberta must contain an annual minimum of 2% Biodiesel by 2012.
Key elements of an Alberta Renewable Fuel Standard Policy that should be included would be a commitment to parallel the Federal RFS for inclusion levels and timing and that the biofuel content standard must be based on an annual average of fuel consumed not an absolute per litre sold.
What are the Potential Impacts of a Policy?
Potential Alberta market created by a Provincial RFS:
Ethanol demand in Alberta with a 5% renewable content requirement will be 220 million litres annually. Current production capacity is 40 million litres.
Biodiesel demand in Alberta with a 2% renewable content requirement will be 100 million litres annually. Currently there is no production, 40 million litres from animal tallow is being constructed.
Potential Export markets once an Alberta industry has been established:
Some jurisdictions do not have the capacity to produce enough feedstock to support the required biofuel industry needed to meet their Provincial RFS. This could be supplied from Alberta production by virtue of our proximity to their market.
Alberta is ideally positioned geographically to supply renewable biofuels into the Pacific North Western United States.
Alberta’s agricultural production of biofuel feedstocks is sufficient to support a biofuel industry that can grow beyond Provincial requirements.
What Type of Support is there for a Renewable Fuel Standard?
The following Agriculture Commodity Organizations have expressed their support for a biofuel industry:
The Canola Growers of Alberta, Alberta Pulse Growers, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers, Alberta Vegetable Growers, Alberta Winter Wheat Producers, Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, Western Barley Growers, Western Wheat Growers and the Canola Council of Canada.
Resolution 3-05F: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties encourage the Province of Alberta to develop and implement an ethanol and bio-diesel industry strategy. The strategy should include the following essential components: 1. Tax incentives to ensure ethanol production is attractive for long-term investment; 2. A commitment from the province to mandate the use of ethanol blended fuels; 3. A commitment to work with other governments to remove the fuel tax on ethanol; and 4. A review of regulatory process that would encourage development of ethanol plants in rural communities. 5. A commitment to market ethanol and bio-diesel as a stand alone fuel.
The Government of Alberta committed to a Renewable Fuel Standard Policy of 2% biofuel content for diesel fuel and a 5% ethanol content for gasoline for fuel that was originally scheduled to be implemented by July 2010. In March 2010, the Government of Alberta announced that the implementation will be delayed until April 2011 to allow for the development of more biofuel supplies. High test fuel remains an exception. The Fuel Tax Amendment Act, 2010 supported the implementation of the renewable fuel standard on April 1, 2011 and helped ensure Alberta's renewable fuel producers are at a level playing field for fuel tax purposes with those outside the province.