The Government of Canada is committed to expanding the production and use of cleaner renewable biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. The Government has a four-pronged biofuels strategy in order to:
- reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from fuel use,
- encourage greater production of biofuels,
- accelerate the commercialization of new biofuel technologies, and
- provide new market opportunities for agricultural producers and rural communities.
On July 5, 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced one key aspect of this strategy, the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Initiative, which will invest up to $1.5 billion over 9 years to boost Canada's production of biofuels.
On December 3, 2007, while speaking at the 4th Annual Summit of the Canadian Renewable Fuels Association, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food officially announced details and eligibility requirements for the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program, which supports the production of renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel and encourages the development of a competitive domestic industry for renewable fuels. Administered by Natural Resources Canada, the ecoENERGY for Biofuels program runs from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2017. Recipients will be entitled to receive incentives for up to seven consecutive years.
The initiative provides operating incentives to producers of renewable alternatives to gasoline and diesel based on production levels and market conditions. It makes investment in production facilities more attractive by partially offsetting the risk associated with fluctuating feedstock and fuel prices.
On December 14, 2009, the ecoENERGY for Biofuels Program implemented six changes to ensure that the program operates as effectively as possible to meet its renewable fuel targets. These changes are intended to provide more predictable and stable payments for renewable fuel production and to ensure that the Program supports the most viable projects leading to long term sustainable growth of the industry.
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