June 24, 2010

USDA: Roadmap reaffirms commitment to energy independence

The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday released a report that outlines both the current state of renewable transportation fuels efforts in America and a plan to develop regional strategies to increase the production, marketing and distribution of biofuels.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack noted that the current ethanol industry "provides a solid foundation to build upon and reach the 36 billion gallon goal. As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day, we must reaffirm our commitment to bring our country closer to complete energy independence and this report provides a roadmap to achieve that goal."

The current ethanol industry Vilsack is referring to is the corn ethanol sector, which will produce some 12 billion gallons of ethanol this year -- even though the capacity is 13.5 billion gallons and another 1.2 billion gallons of capacity are under construction. That should put corn ethanol right on target to produce 15 billion gallons of ethanol by by 2015 as noted in the Renewable Fuels Standard.

The 36 billion gallon goal Vilsack refers to is the entire biofuels that are to be produced by 2022 as part of the RFS (which, by the way, was included in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 - get that? Energy Independence.).

Vilsack noted that continuing to advance biofuels will "create jobs, combat global warming, reduce fossil fuel dependence and lay a strong foundation for a strong 21st Century rural economy, and I am confident that we can meet the threshold of producing 36 billion gallons of biofuel annually by 2022."

The report identifies different biomass feedstocks to be utilized in developing biofuels and calls for the funding of further investments in research and development of:
  • Feedstock;
  • Sustainable production and management systems;
  • Efficient conversion technologies and high-value bioproducts, and
  • Decision support and policy analysis tools.

For more, click here for USDA's announcement or click here (.pdf) for the full report. It contains some good nuggets.

No comments:

Post a Comment