Production Tax Credit for Wind Energy Extended

Joanna Schroeder

Several wind energy tax credits have been extended with the passage of the bill to avert the “fiscal cliff”. The tax credits are estimated to save up to 37,000 jobs while reviving business at nearly 500 manufacturing facilities across the U.S. according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). Both the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credits for community and offshore projects will help the wind energy industry continue to grow. The bill will cover all wind projects that start construction in 2013.

Energy produced from wind set a new record in 2012 with 44 percent of new electrical generation coming from wind energy according the Energy Information Administration. Despite this accomplishment, the uncertainty over the future of the tax credits caused many manufacturing companies to idle production lines and lay off workers. AWEA said uncertain federal policies have caused a “boom-bust” cycle in U.S. wind energy development for more than a decade. A long-term commitment to policy, including the PTC could end this cycle.

“On behalf of all the people working in wind energy manufacturing facilities, their families, and all the communities that benefit, we thank President Obama and all the members of the House and Senate who had the foresight to extend this successful policy, so wind projects can continue to be developed in 2013 and 2014,” said outgoing AWEA CEO Denise Bode.

Rob Gramlich, who becomes the AWEA interim CEO on January 2, 2013 added, “Now we can continue to provide America with more clean, affordable, homegrown energy, and keep growing a new manufacturing sector that’s now making nearly 70 percent of our wind turbines in the U.S.A.”

Alternative energy, Electricity, offshore wind, Video, Wind

Second E15 Station Opens in Iowa

Joanna Schroeder

welcome_sign_fredericksburg_iowa photo from http://iowabackroads.comThe Fredericksburg Coop in Fredericksburg, Iowa is now offering E15. The station is the second in Iowa to offer consumers E15. Fredericksburg Coop is located in Northeast Iowa on Highway 18 West.

“I believe retailers see great value in offering a less expensive, cleaner, more American-made fuel option like E15 to their consumers,” said Fredericksburg Coop Petroleum Manager Steve Neuendorf. “Fredericksburg Coop is thrilled to be Iowa’s second retail station to offer E15. We see the option of E15 as a win for our customers – both motorists and farmers. And that is a win for us.”

All cars and light duty trucks manufactured after 2001 are approved to use E15 – representing nearly 85 percent of fuel use. To be approved to sell E15, a retailer must register with the EPA. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) works with retailers to ensure they follow all federal and state E15 regulations.

“We’re excited to get the ball rolling again for E15 in Iowa,” added IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “After the first round of retailer approvals the EPA essentially shut down the system for three months. Now the EPA is apparently back on track and Fredericksburg Coop was the first station approved. IRFA believes that Fredericksburg Coop will be the first of many stations to add the option of cheaper, cleaner E15 in 2013.”

biofuels, E15, Ethanol, Iowa RFA

RFA Pleased with Cellulosic Ethanol Credit Extension

Cindy Zimmerman

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 passed by Congress on New Year’s Day includes the extension of three key ethanol related tax credits, which starts the new year off well for the ethanol industry.

dinneen-capitol“The one year extension of the cellulosic producer tax credit and accelerated depreciation provides some measure of certainty to ensure that 2013 will be a year of growth and milestones for the advanced ethanol industry,” said Bob Dinneen, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “In addition, and equally significant, is the extension of the alternative fuel infrastructure tax credit which will accelerate E15’s entry into the marketplace this coming year.”

Ethanol Report PodcastDinneen says it would be better that the alternative energy provisions were extended for 5-7 years instead of just one, but it is certainly understandable. “Folks do understand that is all that was on the table and really it’s teeing up a longer conversation about what to do with our tax code,” he said. “We want to have that conversation because we want all energy tax incentives on the table” including those benefiting the oil industry.

In this edition of the Ethanol Report, Dinneen talks about the dysfunctional 112th Congress and his optimism that the 113th Congress will be better.

Listen to or download the Ethanol Report here: Ethanol Report on Congress in 2013

Subscribe to “The Ethanol Report” with this link.

Audio, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Ethanol Report, Government, RFA

Fiscal Cliff Aversion Benefits Biodiesel

Joanna Schroeder

The U.S. House of Representatives burned the midnight oil of the first day in the New Year and signed the Senate’s “fiscal cliff” bill. The package includes several tax extenders items, including the reinstatement of the 2013 biodiesel blenders tax credit as well as retroactive credit for 2012. Shortly after the vote, the biodiesel industry reacted including the Renewable Energy Group (REG), the country’s largest biodiesel producer.

us-capitol-fiscal-cliff-vote Photo: Bloomberg | ANDREW HARRAR“We are thankful that Congress and the President support the growth of the biodiesel industry through the reinstatement of the credit and for recognizing biodiesel’s important role in energy and food security and job creation. This tax credit provides certainty for our petroleum distributor customers and, in turn, market stability for commercial biodiesel producers like us.”

The National Biodiesel Board will have something good to celebrate during its 10th Annual Conference: Momentum next month. The $1-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive was first implemented in 2005. Congress has allowed it to lapse twice, in 2010 and again in 2012. Under the legislation approved by the House on Tuesday and first passed by the Senate on Monday, the incentive will be reinstated retroactively to Jan. 1, 2012 and through the end of 2013. Each time the tax credit lapsed, thousands of jobs were lost and production dropped.

“It’s been a long year with a lot of missed opportunity and lost jobs in the biodiesel industry. But we’re pleased that Congress has finally approved an extension so that we can get production back on track,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). “This is not an abstract issue. In the coming months, because of this decision, we’ll begin to see real economic impacts with companies expanding production and hiring new employees.”

Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, added,  “The passage of the biodiesel tax incentive will mean tangible job creation in Iowa and beyond.  Encouraging production of American-made fuel brings economic development and energy security – two of our nation’s top priorities.  This is an investment in American energy that will pay dividends.  Although the federal Renewable Fuel Standard helped create market stability, one Iowa plant was forced to shut its doors temporarily. The reinstatement of the tax incentive will help Iowa biodiesel reach its full potential.  In 2013, we can expect a thriving industry that contributes even more to the state’s economy.”

It is expected that President Obama will sign the package quickly. The new Congress begins on January 3, 2013 and members have stated that they will continue to work through the country’s financial issues.

advance biofuels, Alternative energy, Biodiesel, NBB, REG

Appy New Year from Domestic Fuel

Chuck Zimmerman

Appy New Year from ZimmCommAppy New Year from the ZimmComm Team here on Domestic Fuel.

We’re betting that many of you now have a new smartphone or tablet. So whether it’s an iPad of any version or an Android you can get your Domestic Fuil on it most easily via the AgWired App! Within the app you’ll also find the news feeds from our other ZimmComm News Network websites, AgWired.com; PrecisionPays.com and WorldDairyDiary.com. You’ll also find our main Twitter feeds and the feed from our YouTube and Flickr accounts.

Best of all it’s Free!

So click here to find out where you can get the AgWired App and have an Appy New Year.

Company Announcement

A Look at 2012 on DomesticFuel

Joanna Schroeder

df2012new2012 was a challenging year for the renewable fuels industry. The biodiesel tax credit expired, the Renewable Fuels Standard was attacked, E15 continues to be attacked and there is yet to be a Farm Bill passed. With the fiscal cliff looming, many tax credits and incentives for wind, solar and advanced renewable fuels are set to expire. This uncertainty caused the wind energy industry to lay off thousands of workers, and several companies striving to produce advanced biofuels altered their business plans to begin producing biochemicals and biomaterials instead.

But on the positive side, the Domestic Fuel industry won the battle to keep the RFS in tact, E15 is now being sold in several states, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 was passed ensuring the military can continue to use and develop biofuels and American Ethanol NASCAR driver Austin Dillion won Rookie of the Year. In addition, more energy was produced using renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal than ever before and President Obama was elected for a second term.  All of these stories, plus more, were some of the Top Stories of 2012 on DomesticFuel.

We now have more than 2,100 followers on Twitter (@DomesticFuel). There were over 1200 posts on Domestic Fuel this year, with nearly 175 with audio interviews, podcasts and recorded press conferences. We covered the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit, National Biodiesel Conference, National Ethanol Conference, Automotive Service & Repair Week, Iowa Ethanol Day, Trade Talk, Farm Progress, the 25th Annual Ethanol Conference, RFA Sponsorship of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and more.

As we enter a new Domestic Fuel era, we wish all of our readers, sponsors and friends a healthy, happy, prosperous and blessed new year!

Alternative energy, Miscellaneous, Renewable Energy

Top Stories for 2012

Joanna Schroeder

domesticfuel logoThis is the time of year where people reflect on the year past and look to the next year. 2012 was a roller coaster year for the alternative energy industry but amidst some struggles, the industry saw many successes.  Here is a brief look at some of the top stories for 2012 covered on DomesticFuel.

Top Stories for 2012:

As the country ends the year on the edge of the fiscal cliff, there will be widespread implications for the future of the alternative energy industry. Keep reading energy.agwired.com as we continue to bring you the news.

Alternative energy, Miscellaneous

Best Books of 2012

Joanna Schroeder

Best Books of 2012If your New Year’s resolution to is get a bit smarter about alternative energy and the environment, then start your education with the Best Books of 2012.

Here are the top five best books I read in 2012.

5. “The Powers That Be,” by Scott L. Montgomery

4. “Eaarth,” by Bill McKibben

3. “Sustainable Transport Fuels,” by David Thorpe

2. “Rooftop Revolution,” by Danny Kennedy

1. “Rebuild the Dream,” by Van Jones

Enjoy your reading!

book reviews

Book Review – Build the New City!

Joanna Schroeder

Here is an idea to take into the new year – build a new city – or a utopia for the future. Author Todd Durant proposes the U.S. “Build The New City!” to solve three major problems: create millions of jobs, preparation for population growth and rising sea levels and national pride.

Build The New City Book CoverSome of our readers may be familiar with South Korea’s Songdo IBD, a $35 billion “smart” city and the largest real-estate development in history. Another similar idea is Tatu City in Kenya. One of the keys to both of these cities is that they are being built with climate change in mind. Durant proposes that the U.S. build a similar city from scratch that incorporates urban living, energy efficiency, renewable energy, public transportation and green spaces.

The New City would be built using the concept of the DurantHybrid for urban transportation and neighborhood planning. The New City will be built upon five principles: 1) federal and state governments absolutely must not be involved in any aspect of the funding; 2) funding of the New City must come entirely from private enterprise and investment; 3) the military should not be involved; 4) issue millions in municipal bonds that will serve to raise money for the building of the city; and 5) the workers who build the New City must be paid well.

Durant acknowledges that he is not a city planner, and the book is big on ideas and light on an actual plan. The idea has merits – the U.S. does need to rethink how it is renovating urban living for the future that may be affected by climate change and diminishing fossil fuels. However, realistically, I can’t foresee a future with a new city but I can see some of Durant’s concepts incorporated into the rebuilding of current cities. Have your own ideas? Share them at www.buildthenewcity.com.

Win a copy of this book. Email me with the name of the book in the subject line and your contact info in the body of the email. The winner will be announced in the January 9th issue of the DomesticFuel newsletter.

book reviews, Clean Energy, Climate Change, energy efficiency

E15 Could Save Iowa Drivers $69M

Joanna Schroeder

sig_091712_e15_carouselBased on gasoline sales data released today by the Iowa Department of Revenue, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) said that Iowa motorists could have saved $69 million in 2012 if E15 would have been widely available in Iowa. E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, is approved for use for vehicles manufactured after 2001 or newer.

“$69 million buys a lot of Christmas presents,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “With E15, Iowans can spend less while boosting the Iowa economy. That’s a pretty good deal. IRFA is working with retailers across the state to make E15 access a reality. Until E15 is widely available, Iowans will continue paying more at the pump than they should.”

The potential savings with E15 were calculated using 1,630 million gallons of Iowa gasoline use (extrapolated from Iowa Department of Revenue figures). Roughly 85 percent of the fuel sold goes into vehicles that can legally use E15. Where E15 has been sold, it has averaged 5 cents per gallon lower than E10.

E15, Ethanol, Iowa RFA