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US EPA sets unambitious renewable fuel requirements for 2018

Scott Pruitt. Author: Gage Skidmore.

December 1 (Renewables Now) - The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Thursday presented the final renewable fuel quotas for 2018, with slightly higher cellulosic biofuel volumes than what was proposed in July.

The 2018 volume requirements for advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel have been increased by just 10 million gallons over the 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). When compared to the July proposal, the final 2018 volumes include 50 million more cellulosic biofuel. Still, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) said it is disappointed that EPA did not set the advanced biofuel volumes much higher, in line the industry’s ability to produce them.

“The agency is arbitrarily limiting growth for low carbon biofuels in 2018 and into the future by looking backward, rather than forward,” said Brent Erickson, executive VP of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section. He believes the cellulosic biofuel industry is positioned for continued growth next year.

The table shows the final renewable fuel volume requirements for 2018 and the final 2019 biomass-based diesel standard. The cellulosic biofuel and biomass-based diesel categories are part of the advanced biofuel target, which is itself part of the total renewable fuel category.

Volume requirements in billion gallons 2018 2019 2017
Cellulosic biofuel 0.288 n/a 0.311
Biomass-based diesel 2.1 2.1 2.0
Advanced biofuel 4.29 n/a 4.28
Renewable fuel 19.29 n/a 19.28

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) said yesterday that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has disappointed the biodiesel industry by not responding to repeated calls for growth. The biodiesel industry has consistently exceeded the volumes set by the EPA and the NBB says it would do it again in 2018, but it pointed out that “the failure to increase volumes will inhibit continued growth and investments”.

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Browse all articles from Tsvetomira Tsanova

Tsvet has been following the development of the global renewable energy industry for seven years now. She's got a soft spot for emerging markets.

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