Canada has a choice: Expand our value-added agricultural economy here at home, using canola as the base. Or export raw canola south of the border and import biodiesel back into this country.
We need to bring those economic opportunities back to Canada by doing what other nations have done to grow the biodiesel industry. Without continued government investments that put Canadian producers on par with the U.S., there will be no biodiesel industry in this country.
At the federal and provincial levels, we need to focus on:
- Creating a reliable domestic market
- Introducing investment incentives for industry
- Supporting farmer equity investments
- Establishing quality standards
Creating a reliable domestic market
The Canola Council’s objective is to reach a market demand of 5% renewable content in all diesel fuel sold in Canada. We support staged implementation, building on the federal government’s 2% requirement, which came into force July 1, 2011. We want to see this mandate climb to 5% by 2015 to assure biodiesel industry investors of stable demand.
Investment incentives for industry
Because of government incentives elsewhere, businesses are deciding to establish biodiesel production plants outside of Canada, using Canadian canola as the feedstock. For example, Washington State will be the site of a 35 gallon biodiesel plant that will source canola from Canada, and the EU regularly imports 100,000 to 120,000 tonnes of Canadian canola oil for use in their biodiesel production facilities.
We need incentives to invest in a robust domestic industrial base here in Canada. Governments could restore the competitive balance by introducing accelerated depreciation of capital assets, refundable tax credits for production and production incentives.
Supporting farmer equity investments
Governments should also facilitate opportunities for farmers to actively participate in the biodiesel value chain. Their partnership could help to diversify farm income and strengthen the outlook for rural communities.
Establishing quality standards
To ensure reliability and end-user acceptance, Canada needs a standard for biodiesel quality – including parameters for cold flow and oxidative stability. Until our standard is developed, the ASTM D 6751 standard for biodiesel provides a framework that has supported biodiesel innovation in other countries.
Learn more about:
Canada’s progress to date
Government renewable energy strategies