Tag Archives: Ethanol

What is the Future of Fuels?

NACS 2014 Report - The Future of FuelsNACS “Future of Fuels” Report

 

The newly released NACS “Future of Fuels” report offers an analysis  of U.S. government projections through 2040.


NACS
is the Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing. NACS researches and writes reports for the fuel retailing market. If you’re interested in Liquid Fuels, Renewable Fuels, Non-Liquid Fuels, Natural Gas, Propane, Electricity, Hydrogen, there are details and even future pricing information included in the report.  The “Future of Fuels 2014” seeks to determine how EIA’s projections will directly affect the retail fuels market, consumer use of specific types of light duty vehicles, and the pace at which alternative fuels may gain market share.

A few key highlights are:

  •  Gasoline will remain the dominant fuel powering light duty vehicles through 2040
  • Liquid fuels — gasoline, diesel fuel and E85 — remain the overwhelmingly dominant energy sources for light duty vehicles, contributing more than 99% of total energy consumed by light duty vehicles, and they are projected to remain above 99% market share in 2040
  • In the vehicle market, the share dominated by gasoline-powered vehicles will drop 14% to 79.9%; market share will increase for diesel powered and flexible fuel vehicles (capable of running on gasoline and E85), reaching 4.1% and 10.7%, respectively
  • Current biofuels — ethanol and biodiesel — are forecast to increase from a 2012 supply of 13.58 billion gallons to 15.87 billion gallons in 2040. By 2040, EIA forecasts the availability of 225 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol
  • Non-liquid fuel alternatives — natural gas, propane, electricity and hydrogen — will increase their total contribution to the light duty vehicle energy consumption by 125%, but still only contribute 0.7% of the energy consumed by 2040
  • Electricity is projected to experience the strongest growth in the non-liquid market, increasing its share of non-liquid LDV energy from 2. 5% to 38.5%
  • Hybrid vehicles are forecast to capture the greatest share of the LDV market, growing from 1.1% to 4.4%

If you have questions, contact TAIT. We’ll be happy to provide additional information and to put you in touch with NACS. Going to the PEI/NACS Show? Meet us there! TAIT will have a booth and is scheduling meeting times with our clients and potential clients now.

2014 NACS Show image of 24,000 attendees to network with in the fueling industry

The Fuels Institute, founded by NACS in 2013, is a non-profit research-oriented think tank dedicated to evaluating the market issues related to consumer vehicles and the fuels that power them.Learn more about  The Fuels Institute – Pursuing sustainable transportation energy solutions.

NACS Demystifies the Fueling Experience –  The new 2014 NACS Retail Fuels Report is the largest and most comprehensive ever developed, with more than two dozen backgrounders examining every element of the retail fuels industry.  Learn More

 

EPA Finalizes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards

EPA Finalizes 2013 Renewable Fuel Standards to Help Promote American Energy Independence, Reduce Carbon Pollution

EPA also announces steps to address concerns about the E10 blend wall

As part of an ongoing effort to enhance energy security and reduce carbon pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today finalized the 2013 percentage standards for four fuel categories that are part of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program established by Congress. Most of these fuels are produced by American farmers and growers domestically and help reduce the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

The final 2013 overall volumes and standards require 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply (a 9.74 percent blend). This standard specifically requires:

•           Biomass-based diesel (1.28 billion gallons; 1.13 percent)
•           Advanced biofuels (2.75 billion gallons; 1.62 percent)
•           Cellulosic biofuels (6.00 million gallons; 0.004 percent)

The Renewable Fuels Regulations and Standards can be found on the EPA’s website. You can read the Regulatory Announcement and the Final Rule along with full data online.

These standards reflect EPA’s updated production projections, which are informed by extensive engagement with industry and a thorough assessment of the biofuels market.

During this rulemaking, EPA received comments from a number of stakeholders concerning the “E10 blend wall.” Projected to occur in 2014, the “E10 blend wall” refers to the difficulty in incorporating ethanol into the fuel supply at volumes exceeding those achieved by the sale of nearly all gasoline as E10. Most gasoline sold in the U.S. today is E10. In the rule issued today, EPA is announcing that it will propose to use flexibilities in the RFS statute to reduce both the advanced biofuel and total renewable volumes in the forthcoming 2014 RFS volume requirement proposal.

EPA is also providing greater lead time and flexibility in complying with the 2013 volume requirements by extending the deadline to comply with the 2013 standards by four months, to June 30, 2014.

A January 2013 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals required the agency to reevaluate projections for cellulosic biofuel to reflect market conditions; the final 2013 standard for cellulosic biofuel announced today was developed in a manner consistent with the approach outlined in that ruling.

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) established the RFS program and the annual renewable fuel volume targets, which steadily increase to an overall level of 36 billion gallons in 2022. To achieve these volumes, EPA calculates a percentage-based standard for the following year. Based on the standard, each refiner and importer determines the minimum volume of renewable fuel that it must ensure is used in its transportation fuel.

More information on the standards and regulations: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/regulations.htm

More information on renewable fuels: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/index.htm

Previous Blog Entries

Following the Renewable Fuels Standard? House Committee Seeks ‘Blend Wall’ Responses by April 5th

House Committee Examines ‘Blend Wall’ Challenges

The House Energy and Commerce Committee released its first in a series of white papers that examines a number of issues emerging with the Renewable Fuels Standard and is asking for input from interested stakeholders.

WASHINGTON – Launching a bipartisan review of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), the House Energy and Commerce Committee released last week its first in a series of white papers that examine a number of issues emerging with the current system and solicit input from interested stakeholders.

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and other committee members are leading the effort to review the law and its implementation.

In the 112th Congress, Fred serves as co-chair of the House Energy Action Team, a working group of GOP members focused on communicating positive energy solutions including those encompassed by the American Energy Initiative. He held a similar role in the 111th Congress serving as co-chair of the House Republicans’ American Energy Solutions Group, which focused on lowering energy prices for American families and small businesses through the development of domestic energy sources. Fred strongly supports an “all of the above” approach with a greater emphasis on domestic exploration, the advancement of breakthrough technologies, and the development of nuclear power. Fred has also been a leading opponent of cap-and-trade legislation and needless EPA regulations that stifle growth, destroy jobs, and raise energy costs.

“It has been more than five years since the RFS was last revised, and we now have a wealth of actual implementation experience with it,” the white paper explains. “In some respects, the RFS has unfolded as expected, but in others it has not. Several implementation challenges have emerged that received little if any consideration prior to passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Furthermore, the overall energy landscape has changed since 2007. It is time to undertake an assessment of the RFS.”

The white paper addresses the so-called “blend wall,” the point at which adding the required volume of ethanol to gasoline supplies would result in ethanol blends that exceed 10%, which is the maximum ethanol content approved for sale for use in all vehicles. As gasoline demand has declined in recent years, and ethanol targets have continued to rise, the blend wall is approaching much faster than anticipated. The required volumes of ethanol as set by the RFS must now be added to a smaller-than-expected pool of gasoline, and many experts predict the 10% blend wall may be reached as soon as this year. While blends containing up to 10% ethanol (E-10) have long been used, refiners may need to start producing E15 to stay in compliance. Four subsequent white papers with questions will address other economic, environmental, and policy issues.

The approaching blend wall raises a number of issues for producers, refiners, auto manufacturers, and fuel retailers. The Renewable Standard Assessment White Paper examines these issues and poses a number of questions for discussion. The committee is requesting interested stakeholders to send responses to these questions by April 5, 2013.

Questions for Stakeholder Comment

  1. To what extent was the blend wall anticipated in the debate over the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007?
  2. What are the benefits and risks of expanded use of E-15 to automakers, other gasoline powered equipment makers, refiners, fuel retailers, and others involved in the manufacture and sale of gasoline and gasoline-using equipment?
  3. What are the risks of the introduction and sale of E-15 to the owners of pre-2001 motor vehicles, boats, motorcycles, and other gasoline-powered equipment not approved to use it? Are there risks to owners of post-2001 vehicles? How do these risks compare to the benefits of the RFS?
  4. What is the likely impact, if any, of the blend wall on retail gasoline prices?
  5. What is the timing of the implementation challenges related to the blend wall? Will some entities face difficulties earlier than others?
  6. Could the blend wall be delayed or prevented with increased use of E-85 in flexible fuel vehicles? What are the impediments to increased E-85 use? Are there policies that can overcome these impediments?
  7. Is E-15 misfueling unavoidable? Are there lessons from the labeling and dispensing of diesel, E-85 and other fuels that prevent their misfueling that can also be applied to E-15? What specific actions are companies taking to address potential misfueling concerns under MMPs?
  8. Can blend wall implementation challenges be avoided without changes to the RFS? Is the existing EPA waiver process sufficient to address any concerns? If the RFS must be changed to avoid the blend wall, what should these changes entail? Should any changes include liability relief or additional consumer protections for addressing misfueling concerns?
  9. Have the 2017 and Later Model Years Light Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards for cars and light trucks changed the implementation outlook of the RFS?
  10. What other methods, including the use of drop-in fuels, are available to industry to ease the challenge posed by the blend wall?
  11. What are the impacts on renewable fuel producers if the RFS is changed to avoid the blend wall?

Please send responses to rfs@mail.house.gov by April 5, 2013.

EPA Requests Comments on Biofuel Compatibility Guidance

EPA’s Office of Underground Storage Tanks intends to issue guidance that would clarify EPA’s underground storage tank (UST) compatibility requirement as it applies to UST systems storing gasoline containing greater than 10% ethanol and diesel containing an amount of biodiesel yet to be determined.   EPA is soliciting comments on the proposed guidance on or before December 17, 2010.  Comments can be emailed to rcra-docket@epa.gov referencing Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-UST-2010-0651.

Specifically, EPA is requesting comments on the following issues:

  1. UST Components That May Be Affected by Biofuel Blends
  2. Methods To Demonstrate Compatibility
  3. Criteria for Equipment Manufacturer Approval as a Compatibility Method
  4. Applicability to Biodiesel Blends
  5. Ability To Demonstrate Compatibility Using the Proposed Guidance
  6. Other Options That Sufficiently Protect Human Health and the Environment

This is a very important guidance which will applies to owners and operators of underground storage tank systems, regulated by 40 CFR Part 280, who intend to store gasoline blended with greater than 10 percent ethanol. It may also apply to owners and operators storing a to be determined percentage of biodiesel blended with diesel fuel.  Of course it also affects manufactures and installers of UST tank systems.