The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association last week attended Farmers Cooperative Company's groundbreaking ceremony at the future site of the co-op's new renewable fuels retail location at Mt. Ayr in southwest Iowa. The station will offer higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel to motorists. The fueling site will sell ethanol blends E10, E15, E30 and E85 as well as biodiesel blends B10, B20 and B99 for jobbers and special use customers.
"The price of E10 in Iowa is 17 to 30 cents a gallon below gasoline, so the savings is even greater with higher ethanol blends," Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad told the audience at the groundbreaking ceremony. "I've told the EPA, if E15 is offered to give consumers a choice, they will choose cheaper renewable fuels."
Expanding access to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends
"For this project, we have a great partnership with Iowa State University who will be conducting a study to find out why motorists choose the fuels they do," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey told attendees. "This is a great opportunity to convince other fuel retailers to make the same type of investment."
The new station will expand consumer access to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends in southwest Iowa.
"We congratulate Farmers Cooperative Company on this great event to celebrate the groundbreaking on a true renewable fuels retail location that will provide consumers with greater access to clean, locally-produced ethanol and biodiesel," said IRFA managing director Lucy Norton. "With the help of Gov. Branstad's 'Fueling Our Future' program and the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program, Iowans will continue to benefit from fuel choice at locations like this one."
Retail location qualifies to receive funding from both programs
Farmers Cooperative Company was selected to receive $125,000 in funding for the new site from Iowa's "Fueling Our Future" program, administered by the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. In addition, Farmers Cooperative will receive $100,000 in funding from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program. Construction will begin later this year.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association on May 5 noted that the Iowa Department of Revenue's recently released "2013 Retailers Motor Fuel Gallons Annual Report" shows vast growth in the use of higher-level blends of ethanol and biodiesel in 2013.
Big jump in higher blend ethanol, biodiesel sales in Iowa
The report shows 2013 sales of pure biodiesel (B100) increased 24% over 2012, setting a new record of 28.9 million gallons. Biodiesel also witnessed a 21% increase in blended gallons sold, with immense growth in B10 (a fuel blend containing 10% biodiesel). Sales of B10 increased by nearly 121%, from 32.8 million gallons sold in 2012 to more than 72.4 million gallons sold in 2013. Nearly half of the diesel sold in Iowa is now blended with biodiesel.
The report also shows sales of mid-level ethanol blends, from E15 to E69, increased more than 158% in 2013, totaling more than 5.4 million gallons sold. Sales of E85 hit an all-time high with more than 11.1 million gallons sold, an increase of 18% over 2012.
Immense growth in higher blends of renewable fuels
"Iowa motorists and retailers showed a serious commitment to higher-level ethanol and biodiesel blends in 2013," notes IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "The biodiesel sector realized the most growth, with retail locations moving away from low-level blends like B2 to offer consumers B5, B10 and B20. This shows biodiesel is a proven, high-quality fuel and consumers will choose it when offered."
Shaw adds, "Across the board increases in use of ethanol blends above E10 prove, despite the petroleum industry's well-funded scare campaign, consumers prefer low-cost, homegrown ethanol. The EPA's proposal to slash 2014 targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard would be detrimental to the great progress we've made improving air quality and increasing our energy security through domestically produced, less expensive ethanol and biodiesel blends."
Motorists prefer low-cost, homegrown biodiesel and ethanol
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information about ethanol and biodiesel, visit the IRFA website.