To put these numbers in perspective I have taken the original requirements for cellulosic in the 2007 law and compared to the revised amounts for each year (as a % of the original).
|RFS mandated volumes of biofuel (in millions of gallons)|
|cellulosic % of original requirement||7%||3%||2%||1%|
|actual volumes (not ethanol equivalent)|
|* This was a combined requirement for 2009 and 2010|
|empty cells did not have a requirement defined|
|Recall that cellulosic and biodiesel are nested within “Advanced”.|
As you can see, we are not “catching up” to our original targets, but as a %, the mandates are revised further and further downward each year. Furthermore, we aren’t even producing enough to fulfill the revised mandates. While the 2012 mandate was 8,650,000 gallons, 12,069 gallons were produced (thats 0.1%). As I’ve discussed before, there are plenty of excess RINs so these are being used to fulfill the mandate instead of cellulosic fuel – this was part of the flexibility built into the law. While there are excess RINs now, there will not be in future years as predicted by CARD here. I believe this will all come to a big battle in court, which has already started here. My point is not to knock on the mandate, the EPA, or anyone else, but to emphasize that we were too optimistic in the original bill, and we probably won’t achieve the targets set for 2022, since they more than double year over year between now and 2022:
|Year||Cellulosic||cellulosic % increase over previous year|
Of course there may be a technological breakthrough (which is why we do what we do everyday), and financing and construction may ramp up now that the recession is ending.. but I think it would be highly unlikely, especially since natural gas is now competing with bioenergy.