Ethanol Mantra – “Don’t Mess with the RFS”

Cindy Zimmerman

The mantra of the U.S. ethanol industry should be “Don’t Mess with the RFS,” according to Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen.

nec13-bobAddressing 1,100 participants in the National Ethanol Conference in Las Vegas today, Dinneen said, “The state of the ethanol industry can be summed up in five words: under siege and fighting back.”

“American ethanol is engaged in a Battle for the Barrel,” said Dinneen. “The stakes are high; our adversaries are well-funded; and our challenges are legion.”

Expressing optimism for the future of American biofuels, Dinneen said, “The nay-sayers keep writing obituaries for cellulosic ethanol. But the real news is that, in 2012, the first commercial cellulose plant was completed and several others began construction. Ineos in Florida is producing cellulosic ethanol today. From Abengoa in Kansas to ZeaChem in Oregon, the future of the ethanol industry can now be seen.”

“The real story of 2012 isn’t that, sometimes, we got knocked down. The real story is that we kept on bouncing back,” said Dinneen.

Read his speech here
, listen to or download below.
RFA CEO Bob Dinneen at NEC 2013

2013 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

2013 NEC Golf Tournament Photo Album

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

Live Stream of Ethanol State of the Industry

Chuck Zimmerman

This morning Bob Dinneen, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, will give his annual state of the ethanol industry speech at the 2013 National Ethanol Conference, scheduled for 8:15am pacific time. We’re streaming it live for you. Just click on the play button to watch. There may be a short commercial to sit through to get started. Thank you.

Post Update: Here is the recording of this morning’s speech:

Video streaming by Ustream

We will update this post after the session with either the recorded video or the audio of Bob’s speech.

biofuels, Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA, Video

National Ethanol Scholarship Winner

Cindy Zimmerman

nec-13-scholarshipA new face at the National Ethanol Conference this year is Wade Hunt, student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He was the winner of this year’s NEC scholarship award, sponsored by the Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF), which offers college students the opportunity to attend the conference each year.

“I’m definitely using this conference to learn more about the opportunities in the industry,” said Hunt, who will be graduating this May with a degree in chemical engineering. “Alternative energy and renewable fuels have always been big interests of mine.” His senior project is to develop a packed bed reactor for the production of biodiesel.

Hunt is pictured here with Mike Jerke, chairman of the RFF and general manager of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Minnesota. “What we look for is somebody who has a passion, an interest for some facet of the industry,” said Jerke, who says that includes a variety of areas such as research, management and communications. “It’s just a reflection of the broad array of career possibilities in our industry.”

The Renewable Fuels Foundation was created in 1981 as the education and research arm of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). This is the fourth consecutive year the scholarship has been available to students in higher education with a focus on renewable fuels and intending to pursue a career in the industry.

Listen to my interviews with Wade and Mike below:

NEC Scholarship Winner Wade Hunt RFF Chairman Mike Jerke
2013 National Ethanol Conference Photo Album

2013 NEC Golf Tournament Photo Album

Audio, Education, Ethanol, Ethanol News, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

BiodieselNow Smartphone App Announced Today

Chuck Zimmerman

BiodieselNow App AnnouncedEver wondered how to find local biodiesel retail filling stations? Now you don’t need to with the BiodieselNow smart phone app.

BiodieselNow, a new app offered by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), gives users the ability to quickly find biodiesel fueling stations, track fuel purchases and earn rewards.

Introduced today at the 2013 National Biodiesel Conference, the app is available for both Apple and Android devices and provides valuable mapping information on biodiesel fueling stations across the US.

BiodieselNow app users can stay up-to-date on the latest biodiesel news, including federal and state regulations, quickly locate biodiesel fueling stations, and easily log their biodiesel usage along the way. Every gallon of fuel purchased earns biodiesel reward points that are redeemable toward biodiesel merchandise in NBB’s online store.

“This app puts America’s advanced biofuel in the palm of your hand. We are very excited to be able to participate more actively in the mobile communication world and use the latest technology to get even more people tuned in to biodiesel,” said Doug Whitehead, Director of Operations of NBB. “As the biodiesel industry continues to advance and consumption grows, we feel it’s important to help users find those retail locations and improve communication between NBB and the industry.”

There are hundreds of retail stations making biodiesel blends available to the public both at filling stations and fuel docks. The BiodieselNow app could not have been launched at a better time and makes finding those stations easier than ever before. Download the app today to find biodiesel, now.

You can find the app in the iTunes Store and Google Play.

2013 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, NBB

Biodiesel Board Celebrating 20 Years

Chuck Zimmerman

National Biodiesel Conference Joe JobeThe opening general session of this year’s National Biodiesel Conference was a fantastic look back at 20 years of the National Biodiesel Board and 10 years of this conference. After some opening educational sessions the first general session took place.

Here are some excerpts from this morning’s opening speech by Joe Jobe, CEO of the NBB.

In thinking about what I wanted to say today it occurred to me that the past and future of the biodiesel industry can best be described in three distinct eras. These eras are distinct for the biodiesel industry but also distinct as stand-alone eras in history.

The first 10 years, is what I think of as biodiesel’s childhood. The second 10 year era, roughly the past decade, is what I think of as biodiesel’s teenage years. And like many teenagers, the industry was awkward, rebellious, and emotionally unstable during this period.

And then finally I will talk about the next ten years, which I believe is the era where biodiesel enters early adulthood.

Biodiesel will be in its 20’s during this period and like most people in their 20’s, this era will provide a lot of exciting growth, development, and innovation to look forward to – as long as we stay dedicated and unified as an industry.

You can listen to all of Joe’s opening speech here: Joe Jobe Opening Speech

We’ll have more to share from today’s activities as time permits!

2013 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Audio, Biodiesel, Biodiesel Conference, NBB

Eastern Winds Report Released

Joanna Schroeder

Eastern Winds ReportAccording to a new report, “Eastern Winds,” analyzing the emerging wind power markets in Central and Eastern European countries, plus Turkey, Ukraine and Russia, wind power will become a significant source of electricity production by 2020. In addition, Turkey’s wind power generation capacity will grow even faster as long as there is a stable legal framework in place. The report was published by the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

“Wind energy in Central and Eastern Europe, including Turkey, will substantially reduce the fossil fuel dependency of the power sectors, “said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive Officer at EWEA. “But some countries – such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria – are without stable renewable energy legislation, and investors and banks will withdraw unless governments put in place long-term renewable energy policies.”

According to EWEA 12 newer EU Member States in Central and Eastern Europe plan to increase wind power capacity from the 6.4 gigawatts installed at end of 2012 to 16 gigawatts by 2020. This is equivalent to the electricity supply of 9 million households. Turkey wants to increase wind power capacity from its current 2.3 gigawatts to 20 gigawatts by 2023.

In 2012, Poland and Romania almost doubled their annual installed wind power capacity in 2012: Poland had 2.5 gigawatts, Romania 1.9 gigawatts, and Bulgaria 0.7 gigawatts of wind power capacity installed.

Alternative energy, Electricity, Energy, International, Wind

DOE Research: RFS a Proven Economic Success

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new article published in the journal Biofuels, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), is producing significant positive economic effects in the U.S. According to the paper, authored by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the RFS is reducing crude oil prices, decreasing crude oil imports, increasing gross domestic product (GDP) and having only minimal impacts on global food markets and land use. The study also found that in the future, full implementation of the RFS’ advanced biofuels requirements will amplify these benefits.

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 12.59.45 PMCommenting on the ORNL findings, Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said, “As Congress returns and hearings are scheduled, Big Oil and Big Food will undoubtedly ramp up their multi-million dollar campaign to smear the RFS. Rather than listening to well-heeled oil lobbyists or giving credence to sham ‘studies’ funded by grocery manufacturers, let’s allow independently funded, unbiased, third-party research — like this study from ORNL — to guide the debate.”

Dinneen continued, “The facts from the ORNL study are: the RFS is reducing oil prices, decreasing oil imports, and creating jobs and economic benefits without the rumored catastrophic effects on food prices and land use. In fact, as the study shows, the RFS barely affects food and land markets. The bottom line is the RFS is an unrivaled American success story. We can’t let profit-protecting fear mongers in the oil and snack food industries scare Congress into changing a flexible policy that is making important contributions to the American economy and environment every day.”

Click here to review the study’s key conclusions.

During the National Ethanol Conference that kicks off tonight in Las Vegas, presenters will discuss in depth various aspects of the RFS along with other key issues facing the ethanol industry.

Ethanol, Research, RFA, RFS

National Ethanol Conference Golf Tournament

Cindy Zimmerman

nec-13-golfThe weather is fabulous here in Las Vegas for the 18th National Ethanol Conference.

About 100 of the attendees took part in the annual golf tournament under blue skies with the mountains as a backdrop. Pictured are Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen, Big River Resources general manager Jim Leiting, and Chris Standlee with Abengoa Bioenergy.

The conference officially kicks off this evening with the opening reception, with general sessions tomorrow and Thursday. Domestic Fuel is covering both the ethanol and biodiesel conferences this week in Vegas – first time the two have been held at the same time.

Golf tournament photos have been uploaded and are now available for viewing or downloading here.

2013 NEC Golf Tournament Photo Album

Ethanol, National Ethanol Conference, RFA

Big Oil Continues Attack on RFS

Joanna Schroeder

Big Oil is continuing its attack on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), with continued efforts to end the mandate. The biofuels industry had been hopeful after the Super Bowl (the Baltimore Ravens won in case you missed it) that fans who saw the ad by Dodge about American’s farmers would help them realize how important these providers of fuel are to our nation. However, Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) notes that is it no surprise that Big Oil, held a “Cheap Corn Coalition” press event a day later.

mess-rfsJennings notes that the RFS is working and has been the most effective policy enacted by Congress to reduce foreign oil imports. When the RFS went into effect in 2006, said Jennings, oil imports stood at 60 percent. In 2012, net oil imports fell to less than 40 percent. Jennings also points out that unlike oil, ethanol is not subsidized and wholesale prices of ethanol are still 40 to 50 cents per gallon less expensive than unleaded gasoline. Consumers, said Jennings, would pay more at the pump if the RFS is repealed, and the U.S. would return to relying on the rest of the world for more expensive forms of fossil fuel.

“Big Oil built the “blend wall,” by refusing to take any steps toward meeting the RFS while they instead spent millions of dollars on lawsuits and PR efforts like the one they staged again today,” said Jennings. “Even reporters ask if there is anything new in their message. There isn’t – because big oil continues to spend its considerable financial and political capital to block the use of ethanol in gasoline. The RFS was enacted in-part to help break through the blend wall by enabling consumers to have access to more affordable and cleaner choices at the pump.

Jennings says there also continues to be considerable rhetoric and time spent discussing E15 and small engines. “It is illegal for small engines to use E15,” explained Jennings. “EPA approved E15 for the majority of motor vehicles on the road today but did not approve the fuel for non-road engines in part because these engines are not advanced enough to take advantage of ethanol-blends. Small engine owners, including marine equipment owners, should not use E15.”

Jennings added that corn production has expanded and become more efficient since enactment of the RFS. Even with last year’s drought, global grain production still reached one of the largest production totals ever, and ethanol is slated to use about three percent of that total on a gross basis, returning one-third of the corn we process to livestock producers as a valuable feed.

“While these ethanol opponents continue to cast themselves as being concerned about all sorts of different issues, they simply want to eliminate competition for their products. The Cheap Corn Coalition lives to spread even more misinformation,” concluded Jennings.

ACE, Ethanol, RFS

RES Completes Wind Farm in PA

Joanna Schroeder

Renewable Energy Systems Americas (RES Americas) has completed the Twin Ridges Wind Farm  located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. The 139.4 MW wind farm was completed in December 2012 and is now fully operational.

Twin Ridges Wind FarmRES Americas served as the Balance of Plant Contractor for the project, which was developed and is owned by EverPower.  The Twin Ridges Wind Farm consists of 68 2.05 MW REpower MM 92 turbines that will interconnect to PJM through the Potomac Edison affiliate of FirstEnergy Corporation.

“RES Americas is pleased to have completed construction on the Twin Ridges Wind Farm for our valued client Everpower,” said Andrew Fowler, Chief Operating Officer.  “The continued development of Pennsylvania’s renewable energy resources will bring additional capital investment, jobs and tax revenue to the state.  We are proud to be a member of this community and look forward to continuing our operations in the area.”

RES Americas has now constructed 381 MW of wind projects in Pennsylvania. The 101 MW Armenia Mountain Wind project was completed in 2009 and is located in Tioga and Bradford Counties, and the 140.8 MW Mehoopany Wind Farm, located in Wyoming County, was also completed in 2012.

Alternative energy, Electricity, Wind