The advanced biofuels industry is putting a bug in Congress’ ear, calling for lawmakers to allow for an investment tax credit that will help advanced biofuels makers get money to get their projects up to commercial scale and become eligible for another operating credit.
Biomass Magazine explains that the industry would be eligible for a federal production tax credit of 30 percent, but the incentive is unused because there are no operating commercial-scale facilities:
Nearly 40 industry-relevant groups such as the Renewable Fuels Association, BlueFire Ethanol, Coskata, Enerkem, Verenium, Range Fuels and Iogen signed a letter to U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, (D-Mont.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.)and Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), which points out that there will be no commercial cellulosic biorefineries commissioned before 2011, at the earliest. The principle cause for commercialization delay is lack of funding, the letter states, due to the severe plummet of the U.S. economy.
According to U.S. Department of Energy numbers, it costs $250 million to get a 50 million-gallon-a-year advanced cellulosic biofuel operation up and running, and right now, that’s some tough scratch to come up with in this economy.