In late January, the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) held their annual Biodiesel Expo in Tampa, FL. Each year, the NBB hosts this event to help facilitate business, education, and networking. More than 700 biodiesel producers, distributors, retailers, and other industry advocates from across the country traveled to the Sunshine State to be apart of the event. Kicking off the conference, NBB revealed their new 2020 Vision:
“Biodiesel, renewable diesel, and renewable jet fuel will be recognized as mainstream low-carbon jet fuel options with superior performance and emission characteristics. In on-road, off-road, air transportation, electricity generation, and home heating applications, use will exceed 6 billion gallons by 2030, eliminating more than 35 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually. With advancements in feed stock, use will reach 15 billion gallons by 2050.”
These ideals appeared to be self-evident through all the announcements, displays, breakout sessions, and speeches that took place over the next couple days. Between “Eye on Biodiesel” awards recognizing valuable leaders of the industry, news of a new partnership between NBB and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), student research showcases, and visionary speeches, the support and enthusiasm for biodiesel radiated from event attendees.
One important point of discussion throughout the event surrounded federal and state policy, specifically the extension of the biodiesel tax credit. The reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit has been one of the industry’s biggest achievement this past year. This credit offers gasoline producers $1 per gallon when a required amount of biodiesel is blended with petroleum diesel for sale or use in trade or business. The newly instated tax credit retroactively applies to 2018 and 2019, and extends through 2022, which is the longest time period the industry has been able to count on the credit since it was first introduced in 2005.
Now the focus has shifted towards the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS is a federal program that requires transportation fuels sold in the United States to contain a minimum amount of renewable fuels, but many industry professionals are upset with 2020 RFS volumes. The industry is ready to push for greater biodiesel requirements, as NBB’s CEO, Donnell Rehagen explains, “2020 will see [the NBB] advocate for the recognition that significant growth of biomass-based diesel in the RFS is not just warranted and earned by [the] industry but is good federal policy in an environment of carbon reduction.”
Whether discussing controversial topics such as the RFS, or applauding ground-breaking research, the 2020 National Biodiesel Expo connected hundreds of the industry’s leaders for exciting and interesting dialogue surrounding the biodiesel industry’s future.