The official tally for U.S. ethanol production in 2017 is 15.84 billion gallons, up three percent from the previous year and a new record, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) president and CEO Bob Dinneen says the data also indicates record domestic ethanol blending, with 14.4 billion gallons blended into 142.9 billion gallons of finished gasoline, equating to a record average blend rate of 10.08%.
“At this point, the so-called ‘blend wall’ is little more than a speed bump on the road to greater consumer choice, lower pump prices, and cleaner air,” said Dinneen. “Even though 2017 gasoline demand was down a bit from the record level seen in 2016, domestic ethanol consumption was up. That means consumption of blends like E15 and flex fuels like E85 is continuing to rapidly expand across the country.”
RFA notes there has been a four-fold increase in domestic ethanol production since 2005 when the original Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was adopted and just 3.91 billion gallons were produced. “Clearly, the RFS is working as intended to transform our transportation fuel market and drive expanded use of domestically produced, high octane ethanol,” Dinneen said.
While 2017 data for individual state ethanol blend rates is not yet available, data recently released by EIA showed that 30 states and the District of Columbia had average inclusion rates above 10.0% in 2016.