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30 April 2014

Keeping up with changes to Renewable Fuel Standard program

Kremen_LMOPThe “snowpocalypse” that greeted Landfill Methane Opportunities Program (LMOP) attendees did not deter (most) attendees from the annual USEPA-sponsored event in Baltimore. About 750 professionals registered for the event; the extreme cold snow prevented about 150 from making the conference. Those who slogged through the snow were treated to a host of excellent presentations. One topic I found most enlightening was proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2) that would significantly increase the value of landfill gas (LFG)-associated Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).

In November 2013, EPA issued a proposed rule, 2014 Renewable Fuel Standards for Renewable Fuel Standard program (RFS2), which would change volume requirements and associated percentage standards that would apply under the RFS2 program for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel.

The RFS2 rule changes would re-classify LFG from a D-3 advanced biofuel to a D-5 cellulosic biofuel. If successful, the reclassification is forecast to increase the value of LFG associated RINs by $5-$9/MMBTU. Smaller, yet-undeveloped LFG-to-energy projects will become attractive and enjoy greater marketability potential. While these projects will not significantly affect the US energy portfolio, the LFG-to-energy industry will benefit through additional work and increased visibility and acceptance. The environment will benefit from a greater overall CH4 (methane) capture and utilization. Anaerobic digestion of organics, food and yard waste, and wastewater projects would also stand to benefit from the reclassification.

Time is running out for commenting on the proposed RFS2 rule changes, but many attendees were preparing documents to submit for the January 28, 2014 deadline to support the reclassification of LFG.

Other interesting discussions included Peter Devlin from USDOE, who presented an interesting case study on a successful landfill gas project at a BMW plant; Rick Sapir from HDW discussed procurement mechanisms available to public entities for capital intensive, long-term LFG and leachate projects. Will Overly, from Blue Source, spoke about renewable fuel standards with respect to different use applications, and Rachel Schmeltz from USEPA discussed changes to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. BioCNG’s Chris Voell spoke about the national potential for LFG to compressed natural gas (CNG) conversion.

On a slightly different note, here are my restaurant recommendations for Baltimore: Thames Street Oyster House in Fells Point and Di Mimmo’s in Little Italy.

If you attended LMOP, did you find any other interesting presentations?


Categories: Air Quality, Alternative Energy, Biogas and Landfill Gas
Posted By Arie Kremen, PhD at 11:15 AM  |  No Comments on Keeping up with changes to Renewable Fuel Standard program

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