Want to better understand the renewable fuels landscape, from algae to biodiesel, corn and cellulosic ethanol, to mixed alcohols? Here’s a fresh look at the confusion regarding renewable fuel subsidies, and why it is in the industry’s best interests for biofuel players to get out of “silo” mode and help the government sort through the questions.
3 paragraphs from the article:
“With their extreme versatility and often complicated nature, it isn’t easy for most people to wrap their brain around advanced biofuels, and the definitions in the renewable fuels standard 2 (RFS2) aren’t much help.”
“Depending once again on what your feedstock and technology is, right now you generally fall in one of these buckets: if you’re Gevo (Inc.) producing biobutanol, you get 60 cents per gallon under the VEETC (Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit). If you’re Tyson (Foods Inc.), Neste or Amyris (Biotechnologies Inc.) making a non-coprocessed renewable diesel, then you get $1 per gallon (blenders excise tax credit),” McAdams says. “If I’m Virent (Energy Systems Inc.) and I make speciated gasoline out of a catalyst technology using sugar or corn, I get 50 cents per gallon. If I’m a cellulosic company I have a $1.01 production tax credit, and if I’m algae, I don’t know where I go. If I make a fuel, I guess I default to the alternative fuels mixture credit because it gives me 50 cents per gallon for a fuel.”
“We need to ask ourselves, at what point should an industry’s subsidy end, and whether the current statutes are tilted toward a certain technology and if that’s ultimately good or bad. The industry is way too siloed right now.”
Biomass Magazine: Advocating Advanced Biofuels
Learn more about the various biofuels: Read our short Biofuels Primer