Renewable Energy & Climate Change

June 2016 Monthly Renewable Energy Report

Brought to you by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative and Decision Innovation Solutions.

 

Greetings!

The Renewable Fuels Monthly Report is now being produced as a partnership between the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center operated by the Value Added Agriculture Program at Iowa State Extension and Outreach (ISUEO), the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative (IGQI), an ISUEO program directed specifically at grain processing and handling, and is authored by Decision Innovation Solutions, LLC, an economic research and analysis firm located in Urbandale, Iowa.

Biofuels Driving the California Low Carbon Intensity Standard Program Credits

In order to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation fuels such as gasoline and diesel, the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) policy employs a market-based credit trading system in which providers select how to reduce emissions. A 10% reduction in carbon pollution by 2020 has been set by the LCFS program (interested readers in the performance of LCFS since 2011, please follow this link [ and check tab 1]) . Petroleum importers, refiners, and wholesalers can either produce their own low carbon fuel products or buy LCFS credits from companies that produce and sell lower carbon alternatives in order to comply with the law each year (California Energy Commission). Each LCFS credit represents one metric ton (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) in GHG reduction. Credits can be sold, banked, or used to help meet a compliance obligation (CARB, a).

Growth in Domestic Ethanol Demand: E15 to E85 and the Need for Long-Term Policy

Ethanol, the most common U.S. biofuel, is generally blended with gasoline to make E10 (10% ethanol and 90% conventional gasoline). Today, approximately 142 billion gallons of gasoline is consumed for transportation purposes in the United States (USDA-ERS, 2016). Of that, E10 accounts for more than 95% (EIA, 2016). In addition to being a significant source of energy in the fuel market, ethanol also plays an important role as the octane source of choice in the fuel market place, but enormous challenges as well as opportunities are coming in the years ahead.

The Feature of the Month - June 2016

Solar energy is a renewable energy that can be used to replace existing power sources such as coal. The solar energy industry has been growing during the last five years but it still represents only 1% of total electricity consumed in the United States.

Prices and Profitability Models

The spreadsheets listed below provide data and trends for various components of the renewable energy industry. These files are updated with new information each month. Energy prices and their grain feedstock prices are commodity prices that are vulnerable to large swings over time.