Gasoline must contain 15 per cent of renewable content by 2030
By Diego Flammini
The Ontario government is moving forward with plans that provide more opportunities for grain farmers while also helping the environment.
On Nov. 26, Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Jeff Yurek announced the government’s plan to make Ontario the first province in the country to mandate fuel suppliers increase the volume of ethanol in regular-grade gasoline from 10 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030.
That target represents removing about 300,000 cars off the road annually.
“We know about one third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the province comes from transportation which is why increasing the amount of renewable content in gasoline is such an important step towards fighting climate change and driving down emissions,” Yurek said in a statement.
The increased ethanol thresholds will also help create jobs, attract investment and help the sector recover from the pandemic, he added.
About 3 million metric tonnes of Ontario corn is already used for ethanol production each year.
Fuel suppliers must increase ethanol percentages incrementally before achieving 15 per cent in 2030.
By 2025, regular gasoline must have 11 per cent ethanol. That percentage goes up to 13 per cent by 2028 before hitting the final targets.
The announcement is good news for Ontario corn farmers.
As yields continue to increase, finding new and expanded opportunities for producers will be important to ensuring a healthy ag sector, said Crosby Devitt, CEO of Grain Farmers of Ontario.
“If you look at corn in Ontario, we had more acres in production in the early 1980s than we do today,” he told Farms.com. “Yet if you look at production, the tonnage of corn we produce today is huge compared to what we used to grow.
“But the demand also needs to be there to meet the supply we’ve got. We’re often exporting corn out of Ontario, but now if there’s more demand at home for corn, that can only help farmers stay competitive and stay in business.”
And any initiatives that can help the environment are always welcomed, he said.
The provincial ag minister is pleased to see his constituents involved in the fight against climate change.
“It’s good for the agriculture industry and good news for Ontario’s environment,” Ernie Hardeman told Farms.com. “It’s a win-win for everybody, just as long as we don’t make it too difficult for farmers to do it.”