A renewable energy source in the form of biofuel has been a hot topic of discussion and research. Ethanol has been the first step to establishing a biofuel additive to gasoline, and our gas stations advertise ethanol blended at up to 10% with gasoline. There are also other options that are being explored across the country.
The newest development in the advancement of biofuel is in the province of Manitoba where they have created a mandate to include an average 2% of vegetable oils from canola, soybeans, and sunflowers into diesel fuel. The province of British Columbia is also looking into creating a similar mandate effective January 1st, 2010, and the Harper government has proposed a 2% national mandate by 2012. The introduction of this industry will also provide a market for grain producers whose grain has not met food-grade standards.
This is a great step towards a more sustainable fuel for our lifestyle which is dependent on the personal vehicle. This might also help to hush the issue of fields being used for fuel instead of food to feed the growing population, due to the possibility of a market for non-food grade grain. This, to me, means better use and efficiency of the land; using all the grain that is harvested. However, we still are not eliminating the use of fossil fuels, and there have been other arguments stating that the creation of ethanol for our gasoline blends requires more energy than what it puts out as fuel in our cars.