California Energy Commission to invest in ethanol

By Erin Voegele | April 14, 2009
Web exclusive posted April 15, 2009, at 9:55 a.m. CST

The Fuels and Transportation Division of the California Energy Commission recently released a draft Investment Plan for its Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program. The program was developed under Assembly Bill 118 with the purpose of developing and deploying technologies that will transform California's fuel and vehicle types in order to help achieve the goals of the state's climate change policies. The Investment Plan serves a guide for the allocation of program funding, and is prepared annually based on the advice and input of the AB 118 Advisory Committee. This first Investment Plan covers the first two years of the program.

In the first two years, the Investment Plan allocates a total of $176 million in program funding as follows:
  • • Electric Drive - $46 million

  • • Hydrogen - $40 million

  • • Ethanol - $12 million

  • • Renewable Diesel/Biodiesel - $6 million

  • • Natural Gas - $43 million

  • • Propane - $2 million

  • • Non-GHG - $27 million

  • According to the Investment Plan, ethanol allocated funding will be used to develop fuel production facilities that use waste material as feedstocks and to increase the number of E85 fueling stations. The $12 million in funding allocated to ethanol is broken down into three distinct areas:
  • • $3 million for ethanol feedstock and project feasibility studies for new plants

  • • $4 million for fuel production incentives for existing production plans and new pilot plants

  • • $5 million for E85 fueling stations

  • The Investment Plan states that these allocations are based on a scenario of alternative and renewable fuels and advanced vehicle technology deployment, potential greenhouse gas reductions, the level of current public and private funding, and feedback from stakeholders. The Investment Plan allocations will be re-evaluated and revised annually.

    The draft Investment Plan will be considered for adoption by the Energy Commission on April 22.