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Calif. Leads US in Advanced Biofuel Companies

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

California is home to about 30 advanced biofuel companies, but dozens of other states are beginning to realize the economic benefits of this industry, according to analysis by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

Combined, there are now more than 80 advanced biofuel companies, refineries and related operations located in at least 27 states. Beyond California, the top four states for biofuel companies are: Illinois (eight), Colorado (six), Texas (five) and Iowa (four).

The biofuel market could be worth more than $60 billion within the next decade and more than 18,000 jobs could be created by the 26 biorefineries that are expected to open by 2015, according to E2 analysis.

E2 says US and Canadian biofuel production capacity increased from 427 million gallons in 2011 to more than 685 million gallons in 2012. Capacity is expected to increase to 2.6 billion gallons by 2015.

E2 is a national organization of more than 850 business leaders and others that advocate for good environmental policy while building economic prosperity.

A searchable map and state-by-state breakdown of companies involved in the advanced biofuels industry is a centerpiece of Fueling Growth, a new web site launched by E2. The site includes reports that examine the growth and potential of the domestic biofuel industry, fact sheets about the industry and videos and other stories that spotlight American biofuel companies.

There are many ways states can integrate clean fuels into their mix, the organization says. Some states use tax incentives, while others like California and Oregon have a low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). California’s Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, AB 118, also has been helpful in getting companies to open new operations inside California.

Dow Automotive Systems, a business unit of the Dow Chemical Company, this year began using biofuel to power three primary manufacturing plants located in Midland, Mich. The company expects to reduce annual energy usage by up to 1.5 MW per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 8,000 metric tons per year.



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