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Ontario to boost renewable blending in gasoline to 15 percent by 2030

In Canada, the Ontario government has announced plans to become the first province to require fuel suppliers to increase the amount of renewable content in regular-grade gasoline to 15 percent from the current 10 percent by 2030. Once fully implemented, this change is expected to result in an annual reduction of up to one megatonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

A Canadian flag

In Canada, the Ontario government has announced plans to become the first province to require fuel suppliers to increase the amount of renewable content in regular-grade gasoline to 15% from the current 10% by 2030.

According to a statement on November 26, 2020, these changes were set out in the province’s “Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan” and contribute to the province’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Ontario currently requires 10 percent renewable content in gasoline and is the first province in Canada to implement a 15 percent blending requirement in gasoline. The regulation will provide Ontarians with cleaner fuels and will reduce the carbon footprint from transportation.

We know about one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the province comes from transportation which is why increasing the amount of renewable content in gasoline is such an important step towards fighting climate change and driving down emissions. This change will also help attract investment in ethanol production, create jobs in rural communities and assist the biofuel and agriculture sectors in their long-term economic recovery from COVID-19, said Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks.

Incremental biofuel blending increases

Over 90 percent of the ethanol used in Ontario is made in the province, most of it from locally-grown corn supporting local jobs and farmers. By increasing demand for biofuels like ethanol, this regulation will benefit local farmers, attract further investment in the industry, and support Ontario’s competitive advantage as a clean fuel province.

To help ensure that the industry has a chance to adjust to the new requirements, the province is gradually phasing in the renewable content from the existing 10 percent requirement to 11 percent in 2025, 13 percent in 2028, and 15 percent in 2030.

Welcomed by the biofuels industry

Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada), the country’s leading business coalition of producers of renewable fuels, products, and technology, has welcomed Ontario’s decision to increase the renewable content blend to 15 percent by 2030.

Ontario gasoline is on track to be among the cleanest in the country. Ethanol is clean, renewable, and already blended in most gasoline. Boosting ethanol content in gasoline is a practical and immediate climate solution to cut greenhouse gases from transportation, improve air quality, and strengthen local economies without adding costs for drivers. It also means that Ontario drivers will be helping the environment with every fill-up said Andrea Kent, Board Director and Past President of Renewable Industries Canada and VP Industry and Government Affairs, Greenfield Global Inc.

RICanada estimates the province’s move to 15 percent ethanol blending (E15) will increase the annual economic impact of the locally produced biofuel by approximately CA$1.2 billion to a total of CA3.7 billion. At the same time, ethanol, with its high octane value, lowers the price of gasoline, helping consumers save money at the fuel pump.

Today’s announcement sends an important market signal to Ontario biofuel producers and feedstock suppliers. As the first province to boost ethanol content in gasoline to 15 percent, the government is signaling a determination to keep Ontario at the forefront of Canadian ethanol policy and production. Our company demonstrates that ethanol is as much about cleaner air in cities, as it is about supporting well-paying jobs and farmers in small towns and rural communities. This policy will further bolster the important relationship between the farm and biofuel production today and well into the future, said Kevin Norton, CEO, and COO, IGPC Ethanol Inc.

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