The 50 Big Biofuels Questions for 2013: Your Say

December 25, 2012 |

You Gotta Be In It to Win It.

It’s your call. Your 50 big issues for 2013. Your issues can matter at ABLC 2013. One click, one vote from you, ensures that these — or other — issues are on the agenda.

One thing is for sure. Since the world’s bioenergy leadership will be in the room — don’t complain in 2013 if you didn’t fill out a ballot and your issues remain unaddressed! Click here to shape the dialogue amongst the biggest gathering in of the industry’s leadership — ABLC 2013.

Thanks for all the response so far

This past week, we asked you for your thoughts about the big policy issues facing biofuels in 2013.

But we were (pleasantly) overwhelmed with your response, which ranged far beyond the policy topics of the ABLC sessions. You had suggestion regarding upstream feedstocks, midstream processing technologies and downstream distribution of molecules into the fuels and chemicals markets.

We have arranged the (fairly overwhelming number of ) answers into 50 big topics for 2013. They are listed below.

We will surely be talking about all of these at ABLC 2013 – in fact, we’ll be distributing a copy of these to every ABLC speaker to ensure that their comments and presentations are on target vis-a-vis with your concerns.

50 Big Questions are captured below – but what else in on your mind?

If you take the Digest Survey, your issues will become part of the dialogue at ABLC 2013.

The Big 50 Questions (so far)

UPSTREAM

Algal Biofuels: is all the hype warranted?

Novel feedstocks.

Corn qualifying as an advanced biofuel

The future of land now in Conservation Reserve Program.

Forest biomass

Municipal solid waste as a feedstock for biofuel production.

Industrial gases as feedstock – do they make biofuels, do they make sense?

Potentially Invasive species as feedstocks (seeded miscanthus, arundo, algae)

The comparative dynamics of Natural Gas and the potential impacts on biofuels.

Alternative feedstocks – sweet sorghum, energy (sugar) beet, and sweet sorghum, more types of woody biomass

Intercropping and rotation.

Improving or bypassing photosynthesis.

The impact of tight oil, gas-to-liquids, and non-biomass alternative fuels on the prospects for cellulosic and algae-based fuels.

MIDSTREAM

Why make a $3 fuel when you can make a $5 chemical?

Infrastructure build-out – Renewable power & fuel, natgas, CO2.

Sourcing of new start-up financing.

Sourcing and structures of financing for scale.

Planning and hedging for Integrated biorefineries: multi-feedstocks, multi-bio processes, and multi-products

Internalizing the externalities: Establishing a link between the benefits of biofuels and return to private investors

What’s working – who’s putting steel in the ground?

The economics of first-gen, cellulosic ethanol, drop-in fuels, and fossil fuels

DOWNSTREAM

Can ethanol and “drop-in” molecules co-exist? What are the regulatory hurdles, if any? Will we see replacement of “the whole gallon” including ethanol for octane? “Green chemistry” vs. one-to-one replacement

Declining mandated demand as a result of less gasoline consumption

Aviation biofuels – sustainable, affordable, reliable, available – and when?

Is there a blend wall for biodiesel?

How to get beyond the ethanol blend-wall – is it smart to focus on higher blend percentages in the US market?

Implications of the new CAFE standards.

Subsidy and real cost comparison between oil and biofuels.

Flex fuel vehicles – why are not more being built? What’s the hold-up on advanced tolerance for new fuels.

Prospects for imports and exports of ethanol to/from Brazil and other nations.

Which biofuels will be able to compete with $50.00/barrel oil? How soon will they be available at scale? To be competitive, all these biofuels must be drop-in fuels. Where are we on this basic cost/drop-in goal/issue?

Transparent, true-cost comparison of fossils vs. renewables, including full cost to a nation’s economies i.e. macro-economics.

International business opportunities for bioenergy and bioproducts.

SUSTAINABILITY & POLICY

Farm Bill

Protecting RFS2 how to avoid changing the rules midstream”

Trade association for the biobased industry.

Finding synergy with the Energy Sector.

CA LCFS for low carbon fuel providers

Role of sustainability, biodiversity – such as Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels certification standards.

Small business support

USDA Section 903 loan guarantees for biochemicals and bioproducts

RIN Value and Credibility

Cap and trade, carbon Tax – state and federal

Role of natural gas within RFS

Tariffs

Production and investment tax credits, long-term certainty, phase out

Countering negative messaging, presenting a positive message

What should be DOE’s and USDA’s role in advanced biofuels?

Progress towards commercialization vs R&D

Cellulosic enzymes – mission accomplished or more R&D?

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