Biofuel firms are predicted to reach less than 50% the renewable diesel production projected by the US government by 2025, as a result of policy and feedstock constraints.
According to a study released by consultancy Cerulogy, numerous petroleum refiners across North America were planning to convert facilities to process waste and vegetable oils into renewable fuels.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated renewable diesel production capacity in the US could increase from 1 billion gallons currently to more than 5 billion gallons per year by 2024.
Cerulogy estimated the projects were more likely to yield about 2 billion gallons of total renewable diesel production capacity in 2025.
Achieving EIA forecasts, Reuters reported, this would require an increase of 1.3 billion gallons of feedstock for renewable diesel, largely by diverting waste oils and fats from traditional biodiesel production, raising US soy oil production and increasing vegetable oil imports, the report said.
However, while the fuel significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared with petroleum diesel, several parties are concerned the increased demand for the oils needed to create it will result in indirect land use change and cause food prices to rise.
In addition, policies meant to promote renewable diesel were not strong enough. The US Renewable Fuel Standard and state policies such as California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard were meant to achieve growth in renewable diesel.
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