The Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference is underway in Washington, D.C. and more than 400 senior level executives are in attendance to learn more about the trends in the advanced biofuels industry. During the Conference, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) released a new policy white paper that determined the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) provides both stable market support and a pricing system (through Renewable Identification Numbers or RINs) that are necessary to attract private investment in the advanced biofuels industry. The paper is also being published this month in the journal, Industrial Biotechnology.
“The Renewable Fuel Standard, as it has been implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency, can provide the long-term, stable, market-based government policy mechanism that advanced biofuel producers and investors have been looking for. It provides both and assured market and a significant degree of price certainty for cellulosic and advanced biofuels, which can significantly mitigate the capital risk associated with commercialization of new technologies,” said Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO’s Industrial & Environmental Section.
Erickson notes that the RFS is very effective for incentivizing biofuels innovation. He said that with this policy, companies have already made significant investments in research and development. He continued by highlighting the amount of good jobs and positive economic opportunities that the industry provides and then went on to stress that federal support must continue in order for the industry to realize commercial scale production levels. Today, many of these investments are seeing fruition in that several companies in the industry are beginning to make major commercialization announcements.
“Access to capital remains the biggest challenge for the industry, especially as high oil prices threaten to plunge the country into another recession. The RFS must work in coordination with other federal programs administered by the USDA and DOE to provide the industry, its investors and obligated parties needed stability and forward-looking guidance. This paper should reassure capital markets that advanced biofuels represent a sound opportunity. And coupled with the recent USDA loan guarantees and DOE grants the advanced biofuels sector should experience a surge in 2011 and beyond,” concluded Erickson.
You can view photos from the Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference in my Flickr photo album.