Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


WPA Takes Canadian Clean Fuel Standard to Task (Ind Report)
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
Date: 2019-09-09
Since 2017, the government of Canada has been developing the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), a low carbon fuel standard-type policy, to reduce the life-cycle carbon intensity of fuels and energy used in Canada. The CFS aims to achieve 30 million tonnes CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) of annual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2030.

The Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been providing input to Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) as it works to design and shape the CFS. And, upon review of ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, WPAC is seriously concerned that the government will not allow end-use fuel switching in the buildings/stationary fuel use sector.

WPAC believes it is unfair for ECCC to recognize fuel switching from gasoline to electricity or hydrogen in transportation, but not to recognize switching from heating oil to solid biofuels -- wood pellets or chips -- for Canada's second largest renewable energy product -- solid biomass heating. To that end, WPAC made the following representations to ECCC:

  • One of the three primary objectives of the CFS is low-cost compliance. By prohibiting recognition of fuel switching for stationary applications, ECCC will actually significantly increase the cost of CFS compliance, exclude the forest sector from participation in the short-term, and inhibit investment in the most proven commercial technology for displacement of heating oil -- wood pellet and chip boilers.

  • Canada consumes approximately three billion lpy of heating oil, the majority of which is consumed by Canadians in rural and Atlantic Canada. The latter accounts for 44 pct of heating oil consumption in the residential sector and 50 pct of heating oil consumption in the commercial/institutional sectors. Rural and Atlantic Canada also have among the lowest per capita income. ECCC's proposed regulatory approach will make CFS compliance for these low-income areas significantly more expensive than for those living in cities.

  • Under ECCC's proposed regulatory approach, the principal mechanism for ensuring compliance from heating oil primary suppliers will be to blend renewable diesel with heating oil. Since heating oil has low carbon intensity (CI) relative to other liquid fuels and much of the crude used to produce heating oil is sourced from outside of Canada, there is less opportunity for upstream reductions than with other liquid fuels. The 2030 target of 74 g CO2e/MJ is less than heating oil combustion emissions, meaning upstream efficiency improvements will be insufficient to meet the requirements. The only heating oil-miscible fuel that can also be stored outside in winter, as is often the case with heating oil, is renewable diesel.

  • Renewable diesel has a useful heat fuel cost of $65-82 per gigajoule (GJ) ($234-295 per MWh. In contrast, wood pellets, at $300-350 per tonne for residential sales, have a useful heat fuel cost of $20-24 per GJ. Wood pellets also have half the of default renewable diesel (29 g CO2e/MJ). Wood chips are half the carbon intensity of wood pellets which means, on an implied carbon price basis and assuming wholesale $0.75 per litre for heating oil, blending renewable diesel with heating oil has a fuel cost of $630/ per tonne CO2e to 884 per tonne CO2e. Switching from heating oil to wood pellets saves money on a fuel basis, in addition to avoiding taxes on heating oil. In this case, there is little reason to implement a complex policy such as the CFS.

  • Despite the billions of dollars invested in lignocellulosic liquid transportation biofuels, all technologies are still pre-commercial -- especially forest feedstock-based liquid transportation biofuels due to the recalcitrant structure of wood fibre. Co-processing of pyrolysis oil or biocrude in existing oil refineries at a meaningful volume will not occur before 2030. The forest sector represents over 75 pct of annually-available biomass resources in Canada and its exclusion from participation in the liquids class will dramatically increase the cost of fuel, especially in rural communities where wood chips and bioheat are a cost efficient and convenient source of energy. (Source: WPAC, Canadian Biomass, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 26 Aug., 2019) Contact: Wood Pellet Association of Canada, Gordon Murra, Exec. Dir., ; Environment and Climate Change Canada, www.canada.ca › environment-climate-change

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  Wood Pellet Association of Canada,  Woody Biomass,  Wood Pellet ,  


  • Canada Tightens Methane Emissions Regulations (Reg & Leg)
    Methane,Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2019-06-14
    In Ottawa, Environment and Climate Change Canada announced proposed regulations to cut methane emissions from drilling and processing by 20 megatonnes a year -- equivalent to pulling 5 million passenger vehicles a year from roadways. The changes will impact refineries, oil-sands upgraders and petrochemical facilities, along with individual drillers and processors.

    Under the new regulations, affected companies would be required to regularly check and repair leaks from their equipment, use cleaner technologies to minimize emissions, monitor emissions at their property lines and report the results to the Canadian government.

    The regulations are part of the Pan-Canada Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change to cut methane by 40 to 45 pct by 2025.

    The Canadian oil and gas sector produces about 44 pct of Canada's escaping methane which represents about 15 pct of the country's greenhouse-gas emissions. The changes are expected to cost the industry an estimated $3.3 billion over the next 20 years. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, CBC, Various Media, Kallanish Energy, 31 May, 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Hon. Catherine McKenna, Minister, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane Emissions,  GHG,  Climate Change,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


    Canadian Global Warming Over TWICE GLOBAL RATE! (Ind. Report)
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2019-04-08
    According to the Environment and Climate Change Canada commissioned study -- Canada's Changing Climate Report (CCCR) -- Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at double the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average.

    Since 1948, Canada's annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7 C, with higher rates seen in the North, the Prairies and northern British Columbia. In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C.

    The CCCR reports also claims Canada is experiencing increases in precipitation (particularly in winter), "extreme fire weather" and water supply shortages in summer, and a heightened risk of coastal flooding.

    The document says that while warming in Canada has been the result of both human activity and natural variations in the climate, "the human factor is dominant," especially emissions of greenhouse gases. The report says the national annual average temperature increase projected for the late century, compared to the reference period of 1986-2005, ranges from a "low-emission scenario" of 1.8 C to a "high-emission scenario" of 6.3 C. The report also predicts glaciers in western Canada will lose between 74 and 96 pct of their volume by the end of the century.

    Download the full report HERE. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, April, 2019) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, 800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Climate Change,  Global Warming,  Carbon Emissions,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


    Canadians Investigate Rising Antarctic Ocean Temp. (Ind. Report)
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2018-09-26
    According to new research conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada scientists and a colleague from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, in he U.S., ocean water temperatures around Antarctica have been rising over the past several decades due directly and primarily to increases in man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The research also noted a drop in atmospheric ozone levels associated with the ozone hole is also contributing to warming, and that the waters around Antarctica are becoming less salty, consistent with known shifts in Southern Hemisphere rainfall patterns.

    The researchers also found that: the Southern Ocean has been warming at about twice the average rate of the global ocean; GHG increases are the most important driver of recent warming and freshening of the Southern Ocean; and zone depletion is also driving the warming and freshening of the Southern Ocean. However, given the ozone recovery associated with the Montreal Protocol, which is now underway, it is anticipated that the impact of ozone changes on the Southern Ocean will diminish. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Sept., 2018) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Neil Swart, Research Scientist, www.ec.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Greenhouse Gas,  CO2 Emissions,  Environment and Climate Change Canada,  


    Fundy's "Blue Carbon" Sequestration Capacity Explored (Ind. Report)
    Blue Carbon,Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2018-05-23
    In Atlantic Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada's recent study of the Bay of Fundy coastal ecosystem and its "blue carbon" has estimated the area's carbon sequestration capacity to hold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of carbon-offsetting costs. "Blue carbon" is a term coined by scientists to describe carbon dioxide stored in coastal plants and soil.

    On land, forests capture carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. Forests release their carbon every few hundred years, due to fire, tree mortality or human harvesting. By comparison, coastal marshes maintain their carbon for thousands of years. Coastal ecosystems do the same -- but they're much better at it, according to McGill University "Blue Carbon" authority Assoc. Prof. Gail Chmurain. Coastal ecosystems can hold three to five times more carbon than the equivalent area of forest, according to a federal government report.

    The financial value of blue carbon comes from its potential for carbon emission credits which the Canadian federal government is introducing. According to government documents, "carbon stored in tidal salt marshes in the Bay of Fundy could have an estimated value of $202 million." That would equal $1 billion in 2022. In terms of Canada's national carbon emissions strategy, blue carbon could be used as an offset to meet international targets and coastal communities could protect or rehabilitate wetlands to generate carbon credits. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, CBC, 22 May, 2018) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.htm; McGill University, Assoc. Prof. Gail Chmurain, (514) 926-6854, gail.chmura@mcgill.ca, www.mcgill.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Carbon,  Carbon Emissions,  Carbon Storage,  


    Ottawa Launches $500Mn Low Carbon Economy Challenge (Ind. Report)
    /www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.htm
    Date: 2018-03-28
    In Ottawa, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Hon.Catherine McKenna, has launched the Low Carbon Economy Challenge. The will consider projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, under two streams:
  • Champions: Valued at over $450 million, the champions stream is open to applicants of any size. Eligible applicants include all provinces and territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations.
  • Partnerships: Valued at $50 million, the partnerships stream is limited to Indigenous communities and organizations, small and medium-sized businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and small municipalities. The partnerships stream will help ensure a broad range of Canadians are able to participate in the challenge.

    Successful projects will be selected based primarily on their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the growth of clean energy. The funding is available until 2021-22.

    Download details HERE. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada , Mar., 2018) Contact: Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.htm


  • Ottawa Offers Provinces Energy Efficiency Funding (Ind. Report)
    Environment and Climate Change Canada,
    Date: 2017-12-20
    In Ottawa, the Canadian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change reports the Government of Canada will soon launch the Low Carbon Economy Challenge. The Challenge will provide over $1 billion over 5 years from its Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund to the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

    The Low Carbon Economy Fund is intended to help Canada hit its 2030 Paris Agreement climate change target, reduce carbon pollution and spur clean growth and energy efficiency.

    Provinces and territories become eligible to receive Leadership Fund dollars when they adopt Canada's clean growth and climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, PR, Market Insider, 15 Dec., 2017) Environment and Climate Change Canada, (800) 668-6767, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Environment and Climate Change Canada,  ,  


    Cdn.Clean Fuel Standard Design Framework Released (Ind. Report)
    Advanced Biofuels Canada,Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2017-12-15
    Following on our November, 2016 coverage, Environment and Climate Change Canada has released the design framework for the national Clean Fuel Standard (CFS). Key elements of the framework include:
  • The CFS objective is 30 megatonnes of GHG reductions annually by 2030;
  • The current federal Renewable Fuels Standard levels will be maintained, with replacement by the CFS over the longer term;
  • Separate carbon intensity reduction requirements will be established for liquid, gaseous and solid fuels;
  • With transportation fuels comprising 80 pct of liquid fuels, the effective partitioning of fuel types will ensure GHG reductions occur in the transportation sector. Some sub-fuel type grouping may be considered;.
  • Gaseous fuels may see a volumetric requirement or a hybrid approach;
  • Credit exchanges and other flexibilities to enable cross-sector compliance will be considered.

    Advanced Biofuels Canada and other advocates have called on Ottawa to develop a Clean Fuels Strategy to ensure the success of the CFS. This multi-year initiative would support domestic production and distribution of low carbon fuels to allow the economic benefits of clean fuels to be realized by all Canadians. It would also address the effectiveness of complementary measures that, if well designed, will drive growth across the low carbon economy. Carbon pricing and fuel taxation are two areas where legacy policies and emerging rules can inadvertently discourage the production and use of clean fuels in Canada, according to the release.

    Download the Canada Clean Fuel Standards regulatory framework HERE. (Source: Advanced Biofuels Canada, PR, 13 Dec., 2017) Contact: Advanced Biofuels Canada, Ian Thomson, (604) 947-0040, www.advancedbiofuels.ca; Environment and Climate Change Canada, www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change.html

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Clean Fuel,  Biofuel,  Advanced Biofuels Canada,  


  • Canada to Cut Oil-Gas Industry Methane Emissions (Reg & Leg)
    Environment and Climate Change Canada
    Date: 2017-05-29
    In Ottawa, the Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Hon. Catherine McKenna, has announced regulations to reduce methane emissions and air pollution from Canada's oil and gas sector.

    These regulations are part of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change to reduce methane emissions by 40 to 45 pct by 2025 and remove approximately about 20 megatonnes of CO2from the atmosphere a year -- equal to removing about five million passenger vehicles from the road each year.

    Quick facts on the proposed regulations:

  • Provinces and territories will have the flexibility to develop their own regulations to replace the federal ones provided they achieve similar outcomes;
  • The oil and gas sector is Canada's largest emitter of climate-warming methane gas and "volatile organic compounds", some of which are toxic to human health and are contributors to smog;
  • Reducing methane emissions is one of the lowest cost actions Canada can take to reduce greenhouse gases;
  • The proposed methane regulations will be phased in between 2020 and 2023;
  • Canada is also making significant financial investments of $14 million to support the work of Canadian companies working on methane-emission reductions in Mexico and Chile. Canada is also working with Mexico to support its commitment to developing methane regulations for oil and gas;
  • Canada has made progress in reducing volatile organic compound emissions through regulations for the transportation sector and industries outside of the oil and gas sector;
  • In total, 26 refineries, oil-sands up-graders, and petrochemical facilities would be affected by these regulations;
  • Under the proposed regulations, companies would need to regularly check and repair leaks from their equipment, use cleaner technologies to minimize emissions, monitor emissions at their property line, and report the results to the Government;
  • The proposed air pollution regulations would have the secondary effect of reducing methane from oil and gas facilities.

    The Government of Canada is supporting this committing $200 million to support clean-technology research, development, and demonstration and adoption of clean technology in the natural resources sectors. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, PR, 25 May, 2017) Contact: Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers, Press Secretary , 9613) 462-5473, www.ec.gc.ca

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Methane,  Metrhane Emissions,  


  • Nova Scotia Plans 2018 Carbon Market Launch (Ind. Report)

    Date: 2016-11-23
    In Ottawa, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Hon, Catherine McKenna, reports that the Governments of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia have agreed on an approach to price carbon pollution and will negotiate a new equivalency agreement on the federal government's recently announced accelerated coal phase-out legislation.

    To that end, the province will implement a cap-and-trade system that aligns with Canada's pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution. Nova Scotia will also adopt a province-wide target of cutting carbon emissions by 30 pct from 2005 levels, by 2030.

    Under the federal plan, individual provinces can impose a carbon tax or adopt a cap-and-trade system. (Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Various Media, 21 Nov., 2016)

    More Low-Carbon Energy News Cap-and-Trade,  Carbon Emissions,  

    Showing 1 to 10 of 10.