The Energy Information Administration predicts only very modest production of cellulosic ethanol by the year 2022, but the industry is more optimistic.
Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen challenged some of the reporting and assumptions the EIA made in the latest energy outlook, which administrator Richard Newell presented at the 4th International Biomass Conference in St. Louis this week. EIA is predicting that in 2022, cellulosic ethanol will contribute only 3.5 billion gallons to the nation’s liquid fuel supply. “We see far greater potential for cellulosic ethanol much sooner than does EIA,” Dinneen said during an industry roundtable when asked to comment on the agency’s forecast.
Dinneen also notes that the way EIA reports data marginalizes the important role that grain ethanol is already playing in the marketplace. “At the end of all the number crunching that EIA does, you’re left with a pretty pessimistic view of what grain ethanol can do for our nation’s fuel supply and energy security,” Dinneen said, pointing out that EIA reports ethanol as being just four percent of the U.S. fuel market, instead of being nearly ten percent of the gasoline market.
EIA predicts ethanol blending in gasoline will increase from 13.1 billion gallons in 2010 (about 9 percent of the gasoline pool) to 17.8 billion gallons in 2020 (about 12 percent of the gasoline pool).
Listen to an interview with Bob at the Biomass Conference here: Bob Dinneen Interview