[FAQ] What is the Renewable Fuel Standard?
The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) was established in 2005 and revised in 2007 as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The RFS establishes certain requirements for the production and use of renewable fuels through 2022 with the goal of decreasing our dependence on imported oil while decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions.
Note: RFS2 is the common abbreviation for the revision to the RFS in 2007.
The RFS schedule is best represented in the following chart.
In 2010, U.S. ethanol plants were already producing 14 billion gallons of ethanol, nearly meeting the RFS for Renewable Biofuel five years ahead of schedule. Currently, there is only room for approximately five more plants to be built before corn-based ethanol has completely saturated the market, and that capacity is likely to be taken up with ethanol plant expansions instead of new plants.
For more information on corn-based ethanol meeting the 15 billion gallon mandate, click here.
Currently, the definition of “Advanced Biofuel” as listed in the above chart specifically excludes corn-starch ethanol. IL Corn Growers Association is working on legislation to allow corn-based ethanol to compete in this category of the RFS.