Biofuels Receive Funding Boost from State of Iowa, DOE

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Progressive Farmer • Posted: Friday, May 4, 2018

The Iowa Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday that provides $3 million for upgrading fueling infrastructure for E15 and E85, as part of the Iowa renewable fuels infrastructure program.

The program offers cost-share grants to Iowa retail gasoline stations that want to offer E15, E85 and/or biodiesel blends. Those stations can be reimbursed for up to 70% of the installation costs of those pumps, or a maximum of $50,000 per project. As part of the program, retailers are required to make a five-year commitment to sell E15, E85 or biodiesel.

The program provides cost-share dollars to fuel retailers to install blender pumps and other equipment. The bill now goes to Gov. Kim Reynolds for her consideration.

According to a news release from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, the program has sparked about $138 million in private economic activity. Recently, a number of proposed projects were turned down because all of the money in the fund was exhausted.

“RFIP is doing exactly what it was designed to do– giving Iowans a great return on their investment while expanding consumer choice at the pump for higher biofuel blends,” said Grant Menke, policy director for the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “Interest in the program remains at an all-time high, and yesterday’s action by the Iowa Legislature will help continue this momentum.”On Friday, the U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $78 million in new funding for a variety of biofuels-related projects,….Those include up to $28 million for development of efficient conversion processes for fuels and products from biomass and waste materials, up to $15 million to improve the production of algae-based biofuels and bio-products, up to $20 million process development for advanced biofuels and bio-power, and up to $15 million for research and development of non-food, dedicated energy crops for the production of biofuels and bio-products.