Biofuels

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To the chorus of voices sounding the alarm on the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – AAA, automakers, outdoor power equipment manufacturers, marine manufacturers, turkey and chicken producers, restaurant companies, grocery manufacturers, environmental non-profits and anti-hunger groups – add another: the advanced biofuels industry. Given the fact the RFS was designed to encourage development of… Keep reading →

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  The World Resources Institute, a highly respected environmental think tank issued a new report this week arguing against the widespread use of biofuels. While acknowledging that waste biomass, such as food waste or urban tree trimmings can be efficiently harvested for fuel, the overall quantities would be relatively limited. Biomass crops on the other… Keep reading →

irena chart 1

The renewable energy future for the U.S. might not be what you expect. Will there be more solar? Sure, but solar heating and cooling systems as much as photovoltaic panels will be important contributors. And the number of giant wind turbines envisioned whirring across the land – and over coastal waters – is kind of… Keep reading →

Q-Cells Opens New Solar Energy Research Center

Led by solar power, global investment in renewable energy increased 16% in 2014 year-on-year. Solar and wind led the charge, but biofuels investment fell back a bit. “China was the clear national leader, with investment rising 32% to $90bn, with the US second, up 8% to $52bn, and Japan up 12% to $41bn. Canada, Brazil… Keep reading →

Illinois Plant Produces Alternate Fuel

The EPA has long promoted cellulosic ethanol as the future of biofuels, but technical challenges have kept production far below targets. A recent rule change allows RNG, renewable natural gas, to qualify as cellulosic biofuel even though RNG is not cellulosic, but this helps EPA appear to be meeting their goals. RNG growth has been… Keep reading →

Gas Prices Drop To Lowest Level In Nearly Four Years

US gasoline prices are at their lowest level since 2009 – $2.81 per gallon according to AAA – which could boost the number of holiday travelers and shoppers. “That could mean what is typically the busiest travel day of the year in the United States could get even busier — AAA estimated that 46.3 million… Keep reading →

Illinois Plant Produces Alternate Fuel

Rumors swirled today that the US EPA would finally announce the 2014 renewable volume obligations – quantity of ethanol and biofuels to be blended into the fuel supply – until the agency surprised many by postponing the announcement until next year. The renewable fuel standard, as the law is known, has been controversial for years.… Keep reading →

San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks

Union Pacific Railroad just announced handsome Q3 profits driven in large part by the US energy boom. Although crude oil shipments were down from the corresponding period last year, shipments of sand for hydraulic fracturing operations have been strong. Less expensive diesel fuel also helped the rail company’s bottom line. “Today you’re seeing lots of… Keep reading →

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The Renewable Fuel Standard was designed to introduce increasing volumes of biofuels into the US liquid transportation fuel system as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act. The standard has been expanded over time with greater focus given to advanced biofuels like cellulosic ethanol that do not use food crops as a direct feedstock. Blending… Keep reading →

Ethanol Industry Threatened By Midwest Drought

The always-ugly battle between US oil refiners and the biofuels industry over EPA’s renewable fuel standards heated up again today when 31 oil executives sent a letter to President Obama urging EPA to stick with fuel blending volumes proposed last November. The proposal aims to find a balance between encouraging the continued growth of the… Keep reading →

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