The Environmental Protection Agency has lowered the amount of renewable fuels from cellulose in the new Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) requirement for 2011 by a whopping 97%. The RFS2 requirement will require 13.95 billion gallons total, with 6.6 million gallons to come from cellulosic biofuel; the EPA’s original goal for cellulosic ethanol was 250 million gallons.
While the overall renewable fuel requirement mandated by the RFS2 remains the same, the 240 million gallon shortfall of cellulosic biofuels was simply added onto the 1.15 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2011. This sends a strong signal to obligated parties that they need to start building plants now if they want to meet the 2015 mandate of 5.5 billion gallons of total advanced, and 21 billion gallons in 2022.
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says EPA’s decision to reduce the mandate on cellulosic ethanol is a good move, "accurately reflecting the difficulties cellulosic biofuel technologies have encountered in obtaining the capital needed to fully commercialize." However, he cautioned EPA must keep the cellulosic targets ambitious to stimulate advancement of the technology.
The RFA urges EPA to keep the overall RFS target at 13.95 billion gallons and allow other renewable fuels to make up the cellulosic biofuel shortfall in 2011.