Canada Mandates Biofuel Heating Oil and Diesel Blends
Canada’s government may be mimicking its neighbor to the south, the U.S., in making biofuel blends mandatory in certain fuels. In an effort to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 (compared to 2005 levels), Canada will require heating oil and diesel fuel to contain at least two percent biofuel content.
The announcement is a follow-up to Canada’s 2010 regulation requiring at least five percent average renewable content in all gasoline sold in the country.
Canadian Environmental Minister Peter Kent states, “Our Government will continue to ensure that protecting our environment, while balancing economic growth and prosperity remains our priority.”
SEE OTHER TOP STORIES IN THE WDM CONTENT NETWORK
The new biofuel mandates are expected to reduce emissions equivalent to removing one million cars from the roads.
The mandates also come as a move to bolster the nation’s fledgling biofuels industry, which can cross sectors to benefit agricultural feedstock growers. “These regulations will also generate more than environmental benefits,” adds Kent. “As an important part of the [federal] government’s Renewable Fuels Strategy, they will establish a demand for renewable fuels to help stimulate the Canadian biofuels industry.”
Heating oils sold in Newfoundland and Labrador are permanently exempt from the new biofuel mandate due to logistical challenges of blending biofuels in these regions. Quebec and Atlantic provinces are also temporarily exempt until December 31, 2012 to allow eastern refiners time to install biofuel blending infrastructure.
bp buys 9GW of solar projects from 7X Energy for $220m
bp will pay 7X Energy $220 million for the projects and 1GW of 'safe harbour' equipment and expects the acquisition to complete in 30 days. The projects, spread across 12 states - with the largest portfolios in Texas (ERCOT) and MidWest (PJM) - are expected to meet bp’s low carbon investment criteria, generating returns of at least 8-10%.
Assets with a combined generating capacity of 2.2GW are expected to reach final investment decision (FID) by 2025, with the remaining progressing by 2030. Once developed, these projects will have the capacity to generate enough clean energy to power around 1.7 million US homes. The development is also expected to support thousands of jobs through construction.
The acquisition represents a significant step towards bp’s target of growing its net developed renewable generating capacity to 20GW by 2025 and aim to increase this to 50GW by 2030.
The deal will also grow bp’s renewables pipeline from 14GW to 23GW. The assets will be developed through bp’s 50-50 solar joint venture Lightsource bp, which will apply its capabilities to accelerate bp’s renewables targets.
Dev Sanyal, bp executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, said: "With this purchase, we are continuing to put our strategy in action as we grow our renewables business in a deliberate and disciplined way. It brings us 9GW of high-quality solar projects in markets where we can create integrated renewable energy offers through our trading and customer franchises."
More than half of new US utility-scale solar PV capacity is planned for four states this year, with Texas comfortably the largest (28%), followed by Nevada (9%), California (9%), and North Carolina (7%), according to the US Energy Information Administration. Solar will account for 39% of all new US electricity generation capacity in 2021, surpassing wind for the first time, according to ResearchAndMarkets.com.