The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision that makes aviation biofuel, better known as biojet, eligible for Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) could make those green fuels viable for the aviation industry. This piece from Platts says the aviation industry could qualify for D4 biodiesel, D5 advanced biofuel or D7 cellulosic diesel RINs, despite jet fuel being exempt from RINs obligations.
“The availability of RINs is a critical bridge to commercial viability,” Nancy Young, vice president of environmental affairs for US airline trade group Airlines for America, said in a recent interview.
“It means there is an economic value assigned to the renewable content in jet fuel that can help the producer of that fuel get closer to the price of traditional jet fuel,” Young said…
But with supplies of biojet still extremely limited, most industry goals are still modest. Airplane manufacturer Boeing, for instance, wants biojet to account for 1% of the industry’s 600 million gallons/year of jet fuel consumption by 2015.
The aviation industry, biofuels producers and the federal government have been investing in research to bring down the cost of making biojet, as well as financing more refineries.
Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council, said RINs are key to that.
“What the RIN value does is it creates an incentive to buy and trade this fuel,” he said. “The whole reason we need the RFS is because we can show up with a cheaper better fuel, but it doesn’t necessarily get it into the marketplace because it’s so vertically integrated. RINs make sure the renewable fuel is used in an economically efficient way.”
The article goes on to say that the increasing costs of biodiesel RINs could end up causing trouble for biojet.