Energy & Environment

Biden administration awards $118 million for biofuel projects

Project developers plan to build carbon capture pipelines connecting dozens of Midwestern ethanol refineries, such as this one in Chancellor, S.D., shown on July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves)

The Department of Energy on Thursday announced a grant of $118 million in funding for domestic production of biofuels, part of the Biden administration’s emission-reduction goals.

Funding was divided between 17 projects, each of which received between $500,000 and $80 million, according to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. The projects are sited in nine states and the District of Columbia, according to the department. They are divided into four categories: emission reduction using ethanol and integrated biorefinery technology in the pre-pilot, pilot and demonstration stages.

Biofuels are quickly produced fuels derived from organic material, distinct from fossil fuels both for their renewability and the much shorter time span they take to produce. The federal government has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the primary driver of climate change, by 70 percent by the end of the decade.

“The U.S. ethanol industry welcomes this announcement from Sec. Granholm and we applaud the Biden Administration for making this important investment in America’s energy future. The Administration clearly recognizes that biofuels like ethanol can provide immediate carbon reductions across the entire transportation sector,” Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President Geoff Cooper said in a statement. RFA members were among the companies awarded funds by the Biden administration.

“These grants represent a big step forward on the path toward net-zero emissions by 2050. Not only will these investments result in new innovations and technologies, but they will also spur job creation and economic activity in communities across the country,” Cooper added.

The announcement comes just over a month after the Biden administration proposed an update to the biofuel blending standards, proposing to add the fuels used in electric vehicles for the first time. The proposal would increase the volume of biofuels required to blend into the national pool of retail fuel from 20.63 billion gallons in 2022 to 20.87 billion gallons in 2023. The mandate would further increase to 21.87 billion in 2024 and 22.68 billion in 2025.

Tags Biden Geoff Cooper Jennifer Granholm

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