E10 approved in Ontario

The Canadian province approved the measure on top of its carbon cap-and-trade system in an effort to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

12 April, the provincial government in Ontario, Canada approved amendments to fuel legislation mandating a 10% blend of ethanol with gasoline from 2020. The changes also require the blended ethanol to achieve a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (to be calculated by GHGenius version 4.03a modelling).

When the amendments were proposed in late 2017 they were lauded by the biofuels industry, but received criticism in the face of the province’s already implemented carbon cap-and-trade system.

Comments on the amendments included concerns about the shelf-life of blended fuels, damage to engines and the use of corn for fuel rather than food.

The industry group RICanada has previously lobbied for the increased ethanol mandate, but has come up against proponents of a technology-neutral solution. BP Canada voiced its support for this neutrality in a comment on the legislation, saying that: “…compliance diversity provides choice and promotes healthy market-based competition to achieve greater low carbon intensity goals, while allowing participants the economic efficiency to choose the path that best complements their business strategy and commercial needs.”

In response to Ontario’s decision to approve the legislation, RICanada said that it would improve gains already made by previous ethanol mandates (E5) in terms of greenhouse gas reductions and market growth. The body said in a statement that third party analysis suggested that the new regulation will also create up to $750 million per year in economic activity within the biofuel sector.

“Ethanol is the lowest cost, greenest source of octane for gasoline. Therefore, incorporating more ethanol into the gasoline supply must be part of any long-term sustainable plan for GHG reduction,” said Greenfield Global CEO Howard Field in a release. “The move to 10% ethanol will lower gasoline prices for consumers, encourage emerging low carbon fuel technologies, and give a lift to rural communities in the province. It’s imperative that other jurisdictions, across Canada follow Ontario’s lead when considering their fuel standards.”

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