Ethanol industry optimistic for sustainable aviation fuel potential
The CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association says the U.S. ethanol industry is getting closer to having greater access to the sustainable aviation fuel market.
Geoff Cooper tells Brownfield the Internal Revenue Service is expected to issue additional guidance on federal tax credits from the Inflation Reduction Act soon, which would incentivize the use of cleaner burning fuels like ethanol.
“If we had 50% of the current jet fuel demand, we’re talking about 12.5 billion gallons, it actually takes more than 1 gallon of ethanol to make 1 gallon of SAF. Now, we’re talking 15 to 16 billion gallons of ethanol or more and it’s what we produce today.”
Cooper says the tax credit could benefit everyone within the ethanol supply chain starting with the corn farmer, ethanol producer and airline end-users.
“How that exactly shakes out no one knows yet until it’s happening, but I think there’s an incredible opportunity for new value and revenue streams throughout the supply chain because of these programs.”
The tax credit would apply to any sustainable aviation fuel sold or used between December 31, 2022 and January 1, 2025.
The National Corn Growers Association and state corn grower associations also sent a letter this week asking Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to use a specific life cycle impact model with the Internal Revenue Service to determine which feedstocks qualify for the Sustainable Aviation Fuel tax credits.
The leaders requested the secretary to use the Department of Energy’s Greenhouse Gasses, Regulatory Emissions and Energy use in Transportation model or GREET model. The letter says GREET is the most robust and updated model for transportation and life cycle analysis and the new tax credit should properly account for the essential feedstocks that reduce carbon emissions, like corn ethanol.