Fuels Infrastructure Board helped the projects come to fruition. Iowa has several progressive biodiesel policies on the books, including this investment in the infrastructure needed for statewide distribution of cleaner burning biofuels.
"Iowa produces the most biodiesel of any state, yet surveys show 47% of diesel vehicle owners here do not know where to find it," points out Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. "This additional infrastructure helps biodiesel continue to become fully integrated into Iowa's fuel supply."
Olson recently visited the Wallaces Farmer office in Des Moines to give editors Rod Swoboda and Frank Holdmeyer an update on the biodiesel industry in Iowa. The biodiesel industry has survived trying times and is having a strong year in 2013, says Olson. Many of the plants that were closed are at reduced production the past few years are reopening and those that remained open are increasing production this year. "Iowa biodiesel producers are primed to have a record year this year," says Olson.
Why biodiesel production could rise as much as 50% this year over last year
There are several reasons for the rebound. The main reason is that the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) considers biodiesel an advanced biofuel and includes a target of 1.28 billion gallons produced in 2013, says Olson. He believes the industry may produce as much as 1.5 billion or 1.6 billion gallons in 2013. That would be an increase of about 50% from 2012.
The second key reason for biodiesel's profitability and production rebound is the federal tax credit. It is now in effect. That credit was allowed to expire in 2010 and again in 2012. When it was renewed by Congress at the end of this past year, the renewal was made retro-active to 2012. That credit could expire again and Olson says the industry supports a renewal of it. However, he says because of the RFS biodiesel producers are in a better position to weather the loss of a tax credit than they were in 2010.