Canada rolled out a budget this week that includes $2 billion in new incentives for renewable fuels. Experts say if properly implemented, the program will lead to 20 new world-class biofuels facilities in Canada, create 14,000 new jobs in rural communities, and provide a new market for over 200 million bushels of Canadian grains and oilseeds.
The renewable fuels producer payment will provide $1.5 billion over seven years to domestic ethanol and biodiesel producers, and create a $500-million fund for the commercialization of next-generation renewable-fuels technologies such as cellulose ethanol. Support for the subsidies comes from a green tax to be levied on gas-guzzling SUV’s and upercharged sports cars. At the same time, tax incentives of up to $4,000 will be offered to Canadians who buy new hybrid cars or other fuel-efficient vehicles (which is equivalent to the tax the SUV buyers will be paying).
Combined with the government’s regulation requiring 5 percent renewable content in gasoline and 2 percent renewable content in diesel fuel by 2010, this measure will reduce GHG emissions by over 4.2 mega-tonnes, which is the equivalent of taking over 1 million cars off the road each and every year.
"The budget is a big boost for our environment and a homegrown renewable fuels industry," stated Kory Teneycke, Executive Director of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association. "Today we join the thousands of farmers and rural communities in celebrating this important milestone for renewable fuels in Canada, and tomorrow we will continue the hard work of building a more sustainable energy industry that will benefit all Canadians."