Outlook 2012

Insights and perspectives from ethanol industry executives
By Kris Bevill and Holly Jessen | November 15, 2011

As the calendar turns over to 2012, it’s time to reflect on the year behind and consider the year ahead. Sky-high corn prices caused deep worries in an industry where the single biggest input cost is feedstock. Those worries ultimately turned out to be unwarranted as high oil prices balanced the market, giving ethanol producers opportunities to lock in favorable margins. The loss of the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit is now considered inevitable, and some, as this year’s selection of CEO interviews show, even welcome it. Far more worrisome are the attempts to dismantle or weaken the renewable fuel standard. And, while Big Oil is often seen as an instigator, our executive from BP Biofuels sees such attempts as a real threat to the investments her company has made in the future of renewable fuels. The challenges for cellulosic ethanol developers are daunting, but the executives representing those firms see the opportunities far outweighing the challenges and are quite optimistic for the year ahead. Indeed, all the executives in this series of outlook interviews are fundamentally optimistic. The industry is healthy and ready to face the challenges that 2012 will present. Read on to learn the particulars.

Outlook 2012: Fighting Vigorously to Defend the RFS
Outlook 2012: Pleasant Surprises in 2011
Outlook 2012: Patience is a Virtue
Outlook 2012: Big First Step
Outlook 2012: Taking 2G Technology to Task
Outlook 2012: VEETC is Old News

—Kris Bevill and Holly Jessen