US EPA sets higher than planned 2016 biofuels use requirement
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Monday set final volumes for biofuel blending under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The requirements are higher than those proposed by the agency in May. It said that the 2014 and 2015 standards reflect the actual amount of domestic biofuel used in those years, while standards for 2016 offer significant growth over historical levels. The total renewable standard for 2016 was increased to 18.11 billion gallons (68.55 billion litres) from the 17.4 billion gallons proposed in May.
EPA said that the final targets would "boost renewable fuel production and provide for robust, achievable growth of the biofuels industry."
The industry, however, criticised the announcement. While up from the initial proposal, the 2016 total renewable fuel requirement is well below the 22.25 billion gallons set in the 2007 law. Trade bodies noted that the 2016 target calling for 14.5 billion gallons of undifferentiated biofuels or corn ethanol is lower than the original RFS level for that year of 15 billion gallons.
The final 2016 volume requirement for cellulosic biofuel is 230 million gallons, for biomass-based diesel -- 1.9 billion gallons and for advanced biofuel -- 3.61 billion gallons. EPA also set final biomass-based diesel requirement for 2017 at 2 billion gallons. The cellulosic biofuel and biomass-based diesel categories are nested within the advanced biofuel category, which is itself nested within the total renewable fuel category.