The hydrogen and biofuel industries were both paying close attention this week after the federal government announced a C$1.5-billion Clean Fuels Fund, aimed at boosting the country’s supply of hydrogen, renewable diesel, synthetic fuels, renewable natural gas, and sustainable aviation fuel.
In an appearance at a virtual conference hosted by the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan, Jr. unveiled a formal request for proposals aimed at supporting “feasibility and front-end engineering and design studies that will create jobs and enable the sector to grow at the size and pace required to contribute to Canada’s climate goals,” his department said in a release.
“It will also establish biomass supply chains to improve logistics for the collection, supply, and distribution of biomass materials, such as forest residues, municipal solid waste, and agriculture crop residues, as well as the development of essential codes and standards.”
The RFP closes September 29 and will provide “conditionally repayable contribution agreements” of up to $150 million per project, covering up to 30% of eligible project costs, NRCan said.
In that prepared statement, Environment and Climate Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said the new Clean Fuels Fund, “in combination with the Clean Fuel Standard, will create jobs, grow our economy, and build a healthier future for our children and grandchildren.” But during a House of Commons committee hearing this week, Advanced Biofuels CEO Ian Thomson said the Trudeau government’s proposed Clean Fuel Standard won’t get the job done without amendments.
It’s “an inescapable fact that 75% of vehicle greenhouse gas emissions are from crude oil and fuel combustion, (and) the other 25% is from the energy that goes into extracting and refining fuels,” Thomson said. “In plain terms, the (standard) will fail to get Canada on the path to net-zero unless it addresses proportionately these combustion emissions.”
“Put another way,” he added, “you can’t capture and store a car’s tailpipe exhaust.”