The recent crisis over fraudulent Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) led to great consternation in the biofuels community, as obligated parties sought assurances that the RINs they were buying were legitimate and met their obligations. Provider of energy information for commodity and financial markets Genscape, which got its start in monitoring the power grids, has expanded into the biofuels area.
“We started looking at how we could extend what we’re doing in the energy space into ag, [in particular], around the soy area,” explains Robert Barton, managing director at Genscape. That led to a conversation with the National Biodiesel Board, in the middle of the RIN integrity issue. Genscape looked at new ways to use their technology and monitoring techniques from a labor-intensive method of quarterly monitoring to a more frequent, independent, real-time monitoring, “Which is the RIN Integrity Network.”
Robert says they monitor three data streams … an initial on-site audit, information provided by the producer, and independent monitoring … to monitor and cross-check the information they get to make sure they have a truly accurate picture and assuring that the producer is really producing the amount if gallons for the number of RINs they claim. He also points out that Genscape is completely outside of the sales process, so there’s no conflict of interest.
Genscape has also just been approved to monitor the ethanol industry to ensure those RINs, and the company believes its flexibility will give them more insight around the plants and how the obligated parties will have better buying information. Robert says they are also poised to get into the cellulosic ethanol industry, but that demand for that market has not come up yet.
Genscape is also the first EPA-approved QAP provider and now first to have EPA approval for biofuels produced at foreign facilities and imported into the US. This new EPA designation is another feather in the cap for Genscape’s RIN Integrity Network. More information is available at http://info.genscape.com/canadian-producer-roadmap.
And while most of these programs described above are for their paying client base, Gensacpe also offers some free information aggregated on their web site, Genscape.com/biofuels.
Listen to Joanna’s interview with Robert here: Robert Barton, managing director at Genscape