Biofuels from an international perspective was on the agenda at the World Ag Expo in California this week. International seminars on Tuesday included “The World of Biofuels” and “The California-Brazil Connection: Ethanol, Biodiesel, Electricity and Beyond.”
One of the panelists for the second seminar was Rahul Iyer of Primafuel, who spoke on international biofuel policy trends and the many opportunities and challenges facing American farmers. During a telephone press conference from the Expo, Iyer said there has been a dramatic shift globally toward a new type of biofuels policy. “It started back in 2005 in California when California adopted the Global Warming Solutions Act,” said Iyer. “The intention of this regulation was to create a technology-neutral market for low-carbon fuels.” Instead of stipulating percentages for ethanol or biodiesel use, the intent to reduce net carbon content of fuels by ten percent by the year 2020, “we don’t care what technologies you use to do it, you just have to prove to us that you’re doing it.”
He says this that creates a challenge for ethanol and biodiesel producers “to figure out what their environment footprint is, what they’re carbon reduction is, because at the end of the day it determines whether they have a valuable product or not.”
The new Renewable Fuels Standard in the energy bill, what Iyer calls RFS 2, also challenges the industry to create more advanced biofuels that give greater and greater life-cycle carbon reductions emissions.” And at the same time, the European Union is developing it’s own low carbon fuels standard, “which coincidentally, looks almost exactly like California’s,” said Iyer.
Basically, Iyer says that the market place is going to create a premium for low carbon fuels that will cause an increase in efficiency from the farm to the fuel tank with better technology.
Primafuels is “a company focused on finding low-carbon fuels for the international community.”
Listen to part of Iyer’s comments here: