EPA Issues Proposed Renewable Volume Obligations for 2020

The agency seeks a 29% boost in the volume of cellulosic ethanol blended into U.S. fuel.
July 08, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) July 5 issued proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard program for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel for calendar year 2020. The agency also proposed biomass-based diesel volume standards for calendar year 2021. 

Under section 211 of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required each year to finalize renewable fuel volumes by November 30. Relying on statutory waiver authority, EPA is proposing volume requirements for cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel that are below the statutory volume targets.

The agency proposed a 29% increase from last year’s level for cellulosic ethanol to 540 million gallons. Cellulosic ethanol is produced by turning the sugars in feedstocks such as grass, wood and crop residues into ethanol.

EPA left the conventional biofuel requirement—typically ethanol made from corn—at 15 billion gallons, the statutory maximum.

The agency also set the volume requirement for biomass-based diesel (BBD) for 2021 at 2.43 billion gallons, equal to the BBD volume finalized for 2020. Biodiesel is produced from a variety of fats, oils and grease.

A public hearing will be announced in a supplemental Federal Register document with the date and location. For more on the EPA’s proposal, click here. Comments will be due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.

EPA’s Proposed Renewable Volume Obligations and Percentage Standards
EPA’s proposed RVOs and percentage standards for 2020 and 2021 are listed below, with final volumes and percentage standards for 2015-2019 listed for reference. All volumes are ethanol-equivalent, except for biomass-based diesel, which is actual.
 

 Volumes Used to Determine the Proposed Percentage Standards

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Cellulosic biofuel

123 mill gal

230 mill gal

311 mill gal

288 mill gal

418 mill gal

540 mill gal

n/a

Biomass-based diesel

1.73 bill gal

1.90 bill gal

2.0 bill gal

2.1 bill gal

2.1 bill gal

2.43 bill gal

2.43 bill gal

Advanced biofuel

2.88 bill gal

3.61 bill gal

4.28 bill gal

4.29 bill gal

4.92 bill gal

5.04 bill gal

n/a

Total renewable fuels

16.93 bill gal

18.11 bill gal

19.28 bill gal

19.29 bill gal

19.92 bill gal

20.04 bill gal

n/a

 

 Proposed Percentage Standards

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Cellulosic biofuel

0.069%

0.128%

0.173%

0.160%

0.230%

0.29%

Biomass-based diesel

1.49%

1.59%

1.67%

1.74%

1.73%

1.99%

Advanced biofuel

1.62%

2.01%

2.38%

2.37%

2.71%

2.75%

Total renewable fuels

9.52%

10.10%

10.70%

10.67%

10.97%

10.92%

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement