Renewable Energy Memo

November 30, 2009

Grassley Pushes for Extension of Biodiesel Tax Credit

Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, one of the sponsor of the Biodiesel Tax Credit Reform and Extension Act, is continuing to push for the Senate to act on the bill before the end of the year.   Existing tax credit programs for biofuels expire at the end of 2009 unless Congress acts.

Grassley has said that the bill, along with other matters, is being pushed back as the Senate’s time is absorbed with the debate over health care.  Grassley said that he opposed simply extending the tax for another year because that could create a “legislative deadlock.”

November 23, 2009

Renewable Energy Around the Web: November 23, 2009

Our weekly compendium of renewable energy news and information from around the Web.

Trony Solar IPO

Chinese PV manufacturer Trony Solar is looking to raise $241 million in its planned initial public offering.  J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse are said to be the lead underwriters in the offering. 

Atlanta Foodservice Runs on Biodiesel

The Atlanta division of U.S. Foodservice is now running on biodiesel.   The Atlanta division’s 185 tractors began using biodiesel fuel early in November following the first 7,500-gallon delivery of B5. In addition to using biodiesel blends in the tractors, the fuel will power the four-cylinder, Thermo King Engines in its 210 refrigerated trailers.

Atlanta joins the U.S. Foodservice division in Plymouth, Minn., which uses B5, and the Streator, Ill., division which uses B11 in all but the winter months. The Minnesota facility has used biodiesel blends for years, the company stated, starting with B3 and switching to the state-mandated B5. “The division has had no performance or engine longevity issues,” a company spokesman said. U.S. Foodservice Minnesota is exploring a switch to B10 ahead of a state-mandate increase that takes effect in 2012.

U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta is active with and has a leadership role in several local, regional and state efforts to promote and protect the environment including the Georgia DNR Project, Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia and the Atlanta Zero Waste Zone.

Danish Ethanol

Inbicon unveiled a 1.4 MGY cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant in Denmark, using wheatstraw as its initial feedstock.  Inbicon has been working in partnership with Danish governmental energy authorities and the unveiling was timed to coincide with the climate change conference in Copenhagen

Portable Solar

The BBC ran a lengthy article on applications for portable solar power.  Portable solar can be an efficient solution for devices that would ordinarily run on batteries or that would require new powers lines to connect to the grid, including street lights and signs. 

Push for Extension of Biofuel Tax Credit

The National Biodiesel Board voiced its support for two bills pending in Congress that would extend the biofuel tax credit program that expires at the end of 2009.  (H.R. 4070 and S.B. 1589).  During visits with lawmakers, biodiesel industry leaders expressed strong support for S. 1589, the Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform and Extension of Act, introduced by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), and H.R. 4070, companion legislation introduced yesterday by Representatives Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and John Shimkus (R-IL). This legislation would reform the biodiesel tax incentive by changing the current blenders excise tax credit to a production excise tax credit. This will improve administration of the incentive, eliminate potential abuses and improve tax compliance. The proposals would also extend the biodiesel tax incentive for five years, providing the certainty entrepreneurs need to create jobs and expand the use of biodiesel.

Comings Events in Renewable Energy

The Renewable Fuels Association is hosting its 15th Annual  Ethanol Conference in Orland, Fla. on  February 15-17, 2010.  Panels will cover the indirect land use charges debate and the path forward for commercialization of biofuels.  Registration before January 22 will get members a discounted entrace for $550 ($750 for non-members).

Registration is still open for the Canadian Biofuels Summit to be held in Vancouver, BC November 30 to December 2, 2009.

50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy

Ballots are due today for the Biofuels Digest “50 Hottest Companies” competition. 

Write to Us!

We’d love to hear from if you have an idea for a story or would simply like your renewable energy company covered.  Write to us at “editor at renewableenergymemo dot com”.

August 7, 2009

New Biodiesel Tax Bill

Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and ranking Republican Charles Grassley (R-IA) yesterday introduced a bill that would modify and extend the existing tax credit program for biodiesel.

The Biodiesel Tax Incentive Reform and Extension Act of 2009  would:

• Change the incentive from a blender credit to a production tax credit.  Producers of biodiesel would qualify for the entire $1/gallon credit without the need to blend their fuels with taxable (petroleum) fuels.    

• Provide the $1 per gallon tax credit for the production of biodiesel, renewable diesel and aviation jet fuel that complies with fuel standards and Clean Air Act requirements that define qualified fuels under current law.

• For small producers, those with an annual production capacity of less than 60 million gallons, the credit increases from $1 to $1.10 for the first 15 million gallons of biodiesel produced.

• Simplify the definition of “biodiesel” to encourage production from any biomass-based feedstock or recycled oils and fats.

• Simplify the coordination between the income tax credit and the excise tax liability to tighten compliance and reduce administrative burdens on taxpayers.

• Extend this tax credit for five years, eliminating the uncertainty from the pending expiration at the end of 2009.

The bill is not yet available for download from Thomas but a pre-publication copy is available here.

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