Timeline of Progress
The origins of the BC-SMART initiative date back to 2012 when studies by the International Energy Agency Bioenergy Task 39 working group recognized the potential of drop-in biofuels. After further work, the Task 39 group published it’s report in 2014 identifying the opportunities and challenges of drop-in biofuels along with recommendations to enhance their commercial viability. These early efforts laid the groundwork for the BC-SMART initiative.
The BC-SMART initiative was officially launched in 2017 at the auspices of the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources with the goal of developing a roadmap to decarbonise transportation fuels, in particular fuel for the long-distance sectors
What we do
BC-SMART drives coalition building and information sharing to explore technology development and deployment (hardware) and policy tools (software) to encourage the production and use of drop-in biofuels as a sustainable, affordable and commercially viable solution for long-distance transport.
The consortium is envisioned to be co-chaired by senior government and industry representatives supported by a jointly funded secretariat.
Industry-led hardware solutions explore biomass feedstock and biofuel supply chain development, process technologies and life cycle analysis of GHG emissions
Photo credit: Parkland Refinery
Government-led software solutions include policies related to low carbon fuel standard (LCFS), forest biomass recovery and renewable fuel volume mandates
Photo credit: BC Parliamentary Buildings in HDR by Sean Daniel (2009)
In the short-term, electrification and other technologies such as fuel cells cannot provide the “long-distance” and other attributes required by marine, aviation, rail and trucking sectors. However, drop-in biofuels do provide a viable clean fuel solution.
Drop-in biofuels are:
- biomass-derived hydrocarbons with potentially lower carbon intensity compared to fossil fuels
- functionally equivalent to petroleum fuels
- fully compatible with existing petroleum infrastructure
- a pathway to engage the “oil-sector”, particularly the oil refineries
- Provide a vehicle for committed industry, government and academic institutions and organizations to contribute to BC decarbonizing efforts (i.e. recruit stakeholders to expand the consortium)
- Establish an action plan with clear goals and timelines that supports the goals of the CleanBC Plan
- Identify the funding required to develop a co-processing strategy at BC’s refineries while encouraging the supply of biobased feedstocks/intermediates (“conventional” and “advanced”)
- Establish a robust drop-in biofuels supply chain that can provide low carbon fuels for the marine, aviation, rail and trucking sectors
BC-SMART Roadmap to decarbonise long-distance transport
The BC-SMART Roadmap recommends action in three, related areas:
- Expand the BC-SMART Biofuels Consortium that brings together a “coalition-of-the-willing” that will develop a long-lived, commercially viable process to supply and help decarbonise the long-distance transport sector operating in British Columbia and beyond. This stipulates the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, to confirm commitment to promoting drop-in biofuel production and use while identifying specific goals, objectives and the time lines needed to establish commercial production and use of drop in biofuels
- “Software” recommendations. Build on, and further develop, the policies and regulatory measures that will help establish the production and use of feedstocks and low carbon drop in biofuels by the long-distance transport sector (Government lead)
- “Hardware” recommendations. Invest in the supply chain and infrastructure that already exist to help produce and distribute low carbon intensity biofuels while facilitating a co-processing strategy at local refineries (Industry lead)
Role of the BC-SMART Secretariat
- Showcase BC efforts in lowering carbon intensity of long-distance transport to companies, governments and other national and international organizations
- Connect: bring together the key “vested-interests/coalition of the willing” required to establish the producers and users (supply chain) of low carbon-intensity transportation fuels
- Facilitate consortium operations by providing access to pertinent publications and up to date information through the BC-SMART website and by fostering dialogue through regular workshops and seminars
- Evaluate: monitor and assess efforts undertaken by other jurisdictions in decarbonizing long-distance transport