Nebraska ethanol producers are exploring ways to meet out-of-state carbon emission standards. Fuels sold in California, for instance, are taxed on the amount of carbon produced in their creation.
Nebraska Energy Office director David Bracht says ethanol producers are looking to stay ahead of those regulations.
Bracht says, “That standard is getting increasingly stringent and so to continue to be able to have ethanol that can get imported into California, ethanol plants are looking for ways to reduce their carbon intensity.”
With more states expected to adopt the carbon intensity standards, Bracht says ethanol producers in Nebraska are looking to renewable energy to cut emissions and stay competitive.
“Half of it comes from fossil fuel sources and the other half would be hydro and wind and nuclear,” he says. “Instead of buying that electricity, producing a portion of their own electricity using solar power, that reduces the carbon intensity.”
Bracht says solar power has become more feasible because costs have dropped up to 80%.
There are 24 ethanol plants in Nebraska that produce a total of more than two-billion gallons each year. Nebraska is the nation’s number-two ethanol producer, behind only Iowa.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton