On December 1, 2022, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed multi-year Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2023-2025 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) compliance years. The RFS Power Coalition has commended EPA for its inclusion of renewable electricity in the program, beginning in 2024.
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Formed in 2018, the RFS Power Coalition is a group of organizations dedicated to activating the renewable electricity pathway of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
Released on December 1, 2022, the EPAs “fresh look” proposal is proposing new regulations governing the generation of qualifying renewable electricity made from renewable biomass that is used for transportation fuel in electric vehicles (EVs).
This is a momentous day, nearly 15 years in the making. We are thrilled that the EPA included electricity in the RFS program, said Carrie Annand, Executive Director of the Biomass Power Association.
Led by the Biomass Power Association (BPA), American Biogas Council (ABC), and the waste-to-energy (WtE) industry, the Coalition has been advocating for this step and will continue to engage the EPA in the implementation of the electricity portion of the RFS.
This action ensures that low-carbon power for electric vehicles – a sizable and fast-growing part of the U.S. automotive sector – will continue to be available to reduce carbon emissions from transportation. It will also ensure that electricity generators are able to receive compensation for the valuable service they provide. We urge the EPA to review and approve the biomass and other pending pathways before the electricity program goes into effect in January 2024, Carrie Annand said.
The Coalition represents domestic biomass power producers who use organic fuels like forest residues, biogas-to-electricity producers like dairy farmers and wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), and local governments converting post-recycled waste to renewable energy.
According to the Coalition, biomass, biogas, and waste-to-energy qualify as renewable transportation fuels that should be included in the D3 cellulosic and D5 advanced fuel categories of the RFS.
The proposed increase in cellulosic category volumes, the Coalition says, “appears reasonable given the cumulative capacity of potentially qualifying electricity producers.”
Biogas electricity producers are pleased about the inclusion of electricity in the RFS. Our members will finally be able to participate in the program, after waiting several years for responses to pending applications. We are encouraged by the proposed changes to the equivalency value, which will more accurately reflect the power being used by our nation’s electric fleet. That said, we are disappointed that the EPA does not allow the electricity producer to generate the RIN. This decision goes against years of precedence, and we are concerned this will adversely affect biogas producers said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council.
With the inclusion of electricity in the RFS, resource recovery facilities will finally receive credit for the negative carbon fuel we provide for transportation every day. Many of the facilities we operate are owned by municipal governments, who have invested in the responsible disposal of municipal solid waste (MSW). We are excited to continue our work with the EPA to finalize pathway approval to fully participate in the eRIN market, said Tequila Smith, Covanta’s Chief Sustainability Officer.
The Coalition will provide comments on the proposal and “looks forward to working with EPA on the implementation of the electricity program.”