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US EPA finalizes 2017 renewable fuel volume requirements

24 November 2016

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the volume requirements and percentage standards that apply under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program in 2017 for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. EPA also finalized the volume requirement for biomass-based diesel for 2018.

The volumes for all categories of renewable fuels have been increased. The final standards, shown below, meet or exceed the targets specified by Congress in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The percentage standards represent the ratio of renewable fuel volume to projected non-renewable gasoline and diesel volume.

Renewable fuel volume requirements for 2014-2018
Cellulosic biofuel (million gallons)33123230311n/a
Biomass-based diesel (billion gallons)1.631.731.92.02.1
Advanced biofuel (billion gallons)2.672.883.614.28n/a
Renewable fuel (billion gallons)16.2816.9318.1119.28n/a
RFS percentage standards for 2017
Cellulosic biofuel0.173%
Biomass-based diesel1.67%
Advanced biofuel2.38%
Renewable fuel10.70%

The total renewable fuel volumes grow by 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6% increase. The 2017 percentage standard of 10.70% suggests that blending 10% of ethanol into gasoline (E10) is no longer sufficient to satisfy the requirements of the RFS program. The sub-categories have been increased as follows:

The 2017 volumes were proposed in May 2016. Compared to the proposal, the final rule increases the conventional renewable fuel mandate by an additional 200 million gal to meet the statutory level of 15 billion gallons. The EPA also slightly lowered the 2017 cellulosic biofuel requirement and slightly increased the advanced biofuel category.

Source: US EPA