The Canadian Biogas Association posts “Insights” articles on a regular basis to contextualize important new information and announcements through the lens of Canada’s biogas opportunity. Check out other Insight articles.
September 24 2021
Five ways that Biogas and RNG can support the new federal government’s goals
After six weeks of examining the differences among Canada’s major federal parties, let’s take a moment to appreciate a major point of consensus: the need for more clean energy to drive towards increasingly ambitious climate goals.
Every party platform put clean energy in its front window. The Canadian Biogas Association hopes this party alignment will result in unprecedented cooperation and ambition to accelerate Canada’s clean energy opportunity, particularly when it comes to our biogas and Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) resources, which have enormous opportunity for growth.
Here are five ways Canada’s biogas and RNG sector can support the new federal government’s agenda:
Cutting methane emissions
The Liberal platform prioritizes reducing Canada’s methane emissions, a powerful source of greenhouse gas pollution. The majority of Canada’s methane emissions come from our agriculture and waste sectors (27% and 28% respectively). These kinds of methane emissions are routine feedstock for biogas and RNG production. In fact, Canada is already home to 144 biogas projects using these feedstocks. Scaling up biogas and RNG production in partnership with municipalities, farmers and other biogas stakeholders is the number one way to reduce methane emissions while generating new economic opportunities for Canadians.
Supporting renewable energy on farms
The Liberal platform highlights the opportunity to help Canadian farmers adopt more clean energy, and promises an increase in funding from $165 million to an expected $495 million. Agricultural biogas and RNG production is a prime opportunity to meet these goals. Already 45 on-farm biogas projects are operating across Canada, turning manure and agricultural waste into clean energy. Farmers and agri-food producers are ready to unleash hundreds more agricultural biogas projects with the government’s support.
Accelerating to zero-emissions transportation
The Liberal platform renews the government’s commitment to zero-emissions transportation. Highlights include: requiring all trucks sold to be zero-emission beginning in 2040; $200 million to retrofit large trucks; support for zero-emission buses; and $700 million for net-zero vehicle refuelling stations. RNG is a commercially proven fuel that can continue to support these goals. This year Hamilton unveiled a “negative-carbon” RNG-fuelled transit bus, and BC’s Translink is meeting its climate goals by making 20% of its fleet RNG-fuelled by 2024. More biogas and RNG production means more zero-emissions fuel for Canadian vehicles.
Meeting international climate targets
In just a few weeks, the new government will send a delegation to COP26 in Glasgow, where it will stand behind Canada’s new target of reducing emissions 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Canada will need an updated plan for meeting this updated target. Biogas and RNG can help fill the gap. The World Biogas Association calculates that biogas can reduce the world’s GHG emissions 10% by 2030. We join the WBA in encouraging Canada’s government to formally commit to biogas in its new NDCs.
Implementing other new and ongoing programs
- Minimum Renewable Content for Gaseous Fuels: The CBA is currently modelling a range of policies, including a minimum renewable blend for gases, to determine what policies generate the greatest upside for emissions reduction, clean energy supply and economic growth. We look forward to sharing the results to help inform government action.
- Clean Fuel Regulations: The government’s ongoing development of the Clean Fuel Regulations is important for getting more clean fuels like biogas and RNG into Canada’s energy mix. The CBA will continue to support this process in hopes of establishing a stringent regulation that supports Canada’s clean fuel producers.
Clean Fuels Fund: In 2020, the federal government announced a $1.38-billion Clean Fuels Fund. Canada’s biogas and RNG producers have stepped up to the call. We look forward to helping this program support new and exciting biogas and RNG projects.
- Clean Electricity Standard: The Liberal platform committed to a Clean Electricity Standard to get Canada’s electricity system from mostly clean (82%) to fully clean (100%) by 2035. Biogas-to-power applications already provide 196 MW of clean electricity capacity in Canada. Together we can grow this capacity to help meet government goals.
- Tax credit: The Liberal platform proposes a new investment tax credit of up to 30% for clean technologies. The CBA will work with government to ensure biogas and RNG technologies are included.
- Healthy Environment, Healthy Economy: The CBA will continue to support the implementation of all the relevant policy and fiscal measures identified in the government’s Strengthened Climate Plan from December 2020.
The CBA is excited to get back to work with the federal government. There are many opportunities to seize as Canada drives towards economic recovery and emissions reduction. Canada’s biogas and RNG sector will be an important and reliable partner.