Biodiesel offers benefits: CRFA

Consumer savings among advantages, says renewable fuels association

April 8, 2011
by MM&D staff

Ottawa: The federal requirement of two-percent biofuel content in diesel set to begin July 1 will create jobs, cut air pollution and benefit drivers, according to the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA).

The federal government published renewable fuels regulations last September that require about five-percent renewable content in gasoline. The regulations also contained the provisions to require an average of two-percent renewable content in diesel fuel and heating oil.

In response, the Canadian Trucking Alliance said the price of diesel will rise if the federal government sticks to its July 1 deadline. But the government put biodiesel through a Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement, said the CRFA, which concluded the renewable fuels standard should proceed due to the benefits.

“It is estimated that the average price increase for the biodiesel blend over the 25-year period would be about one third of a cent per litre, an amount likely to be unnoticeable in comparison with the usual day-to-day price fluctuations experienced in the diesel fuel,” the statement said.

The CRFA said it hired independent experts in regulatory cost-benefit analysis to review the statement. These experts expect consumers to receive significant cost savings from biodiesel over the next 25 years. The production costs of biodiesel are expected to be lower than diesel prices.

As well, using biodiesel leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and improved air quality, the CRFA said. Third-party studies have shown that biodiesel lowers GHGs by 90 to 99 percent as compared to petroleum diesel, the organization noted.

And while the CTA said biodiesel is hard on some engine brands, the CRFA responded by quoting the Manitoba Hydro Long Term Storage and Use of Biodiesel in Fleets National Renewable Diesel Demonstration Initiative (NRDDI).

“The data actually shows better fuel system maintenance performance at the biodiesel site than the other sites,” the NRDDI said.

As well, the CRFA cited the Alberta Renewable Diesel Demonstration: “none of the fleets reported any need to change their maintenance schedules or to make any unscheduled fuel filter changes. The ARDD did not encounter any loss of service events.”