ALBERTA TRANSPORTATION CLIMATE CHANGE
Update for: June 6, 2001
Climate Change Central Office Official Opening:
On May 4, Climate Change Central opened its office in Calgary with the announcement of an additional $1.5 million from Alberta Environment. The money will be used to leverage additional funding from other sources for a variety of projects.
Funding for two projects were announced at the opening. The first, led by the Canadian Energy Research Institute, will estimate the costs of injecting CO2 into underground geological formations. The second is the calculation of greenhouse gas savings Alberta farmers can achieve through changes in land use management. Both projects will be funded jointly by Alberta Environment, Climate Change Central and Western Economic Diversification.
Natural Gas Vehicle Conference:
On May 23, 2001, the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance and ATCO Gas co-hosted the Natural Gas Vehicle Conference and Showcase in Calgary. The conference featured keynote speakers from natural gas vehicle conversion technology firms Alternative Fuel Systems and BCG eFuels. Also, several speakers from the public and private sector shared their experiences in converting their vehicle fleets from diesel and gasoline to natural gas.
For more information on the Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance refer to: http://www.cngva.org/
US Position Driving Re-examination of Kyoto Protocol:
The US has announced it will not be ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Instead the US will formulate an alternative plan that will be consistent with its recently unveiled national energy strategy.
Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) has indicated it will ratify the Protocol without the US and has spent the last month enlisting the support of the international community. Thus far, most other nations have indicated support for the EU?s stance, but have questioned the effectiveness of the Protocol without US involvement.
The Canadian federal government has stated that it will honor the commitment made in Kyoto, but would like the Protocol to be amended to include sinks and credit for the export of clean energy, especially natural gas.
International climates change talks (COP 6.5) are scheduled to continue July 16 ? 27 in Bonn, Germany.
Biodiesel Making In-roads into the US Vehicle Fuel Market:
What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from raw or used cooking oils produced from oil seed crops such as soybeans, canola and peanuts, and also animal fats. Biodiesel is produced through a conventional chemical process called transesterification. Emissions tests have indicated that the use of biodiesel reduces life cycle CO2 emissions by up to 75%, and results in a decrease in toxic emissions such as carbon monoxide, particulate matter and hydrocarbons, compared to conventional petroleum. Moreover, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) reports that biodiesel offers similar performance to conventional diesel, has excellent lubricity and is safest of all fuels to use, handle and store.
Who is Making & Using Biodiesel?
The Southern States Power Company (SSPC) has recently completed a biodiesel production facility in California with an annual production capacity of 10 million gallons. Olympian Inc. and World Energy Alternatives recently announced the opening of the first biodiesel fueling station that will provide public access in San Francisco.
Vehicle fleet consumers of biodiesel include the Lexington (Kentucky) Transit Authority, New Jersey Transit and Cincinnati Metro. As of yet, no Canadian vehicle fleet operators are using biodiesel.
The US federal government has obligated all federal agencies by the Clean Air Act and Energy Policy Act of 1992 to integrate alternative fuel vehicles into their fleets. In this regard, the US Air Force and Department of Defense will spend the next year testing B20, a blended fuel comprised of 20% biodiesel and 80% conventional diesel. It is anticipate that the 270 vehicles dedicated to the trial will require 65,000 gallons of biodiesel.
For more information on biodiesel refer to the National Biodiesel Board?s home page at: http://www.biodiesel.org/
New Developments in Vehicle Emission Reduction Technologies:
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) recently unveiled "Advanced Technology Vehicles Take to the Road", a 20 page booklet detailing AAM member companies high technology developmental and production vehicles. AAM states that the emergence of advanced technology vehicles offers an opportunity to significantly increase vehicle fuel economy without sacrificing safety, cargo room and performance. The AAM?s web site provides a detailed inventory and performance information on newly available and experimental prototype alternative fueled vehicles (including natural gas, ethanol, electric and hydrogen powered).
For more information and to view the AAM's 20-page booklet refer to: http://www.autoalliance.org/
Prepared by Alberta Transportation and Alberta Environment
This information is available on the Alberta Transportation web-site
Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Issues