WASHINGTON, D.C. - The recent projection from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) for cellulosic ethanol production in 2011 is a stark reminder that more investment and thoughtful policy is required to bring these technologies to commercialization. According to EIA projections, cellulosic ethanol production will be just 3.94 million gallons next year, below the 5.3 million gallons the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) readjusted as the target under the Renewable Fuels Standard in 2011.


Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen pointed to this projection as evidence that more needs to be done to bring these critical technologies to the marketplace, including improvements to existing loan guarantees and key tax policies.


"Realizing the ambitious goals of the Renewable Fuels Standard requires the commercialization of cellulosic ethanol and other advanced biofuels," said Dinneen. "Yet, the number one issue facing cellulosic and other advanced biofuel technologies is access to capital. These technologies stand at the precipice of commercialization, but have been hampered by a weak economy and failures to appropriately implement key loan guarantee programs."


Dinneen also highlighted an expanded cellulosic biofuels producer tax credit which includes a broader range of eligible advanced biofuels including algae and the ability to allow developers to elect a refundable 30% investment tax credit as another key item for advanced biofuel commercialization.


The RFA has been a vocal critic of Department of Energy's (DOE) implementation of its loan guarantee program. In particular, the RFA recently highlighted three critical areas that DOE needs to address.


SOURCE: Renewable Fuels Association