Policies for California’s Energy Future – Scaling Up Advanced Biofuels

Author(s): Solecki, Mary; Epstein, Bob; Bernhardt, Tony; Reiling, Kinkead; Scodel, Anna

Release Date: May 1, 2014 | Last Updated Date: February 17, 2015


This is the second publication produced as part of CCST’s California’s Energy Future – Policy (CEF-P) project, a study designed to help inform the policy related decisions California state and local governments must make in order to achieve California’s ambitious goals of significantly reducing total greenhouse gas emissions over the next four decades.

Advanced biofuels have the potential to provide California with both cleaner air and economic opportunities, especially when produced within the state. Advanced biofuels are defined to have a minimum of a 50 percent reduction in carbon intensity over gasoline and diesel, so even modest blend levels in our fuel supply could reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of our fuel by up to 10 percent in 2020, and help us meet the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) effectively. These fuels also typically burn cleaner. Advanced biofuels can be produced in a variety of urban and rural settings with different feedstocks, providing a distributed economic opportunity across the state.

This report discusses a set of policy options for the California LCFS and AB32 that could be considered as part of regular program reviews in 2014. The goal is to increase the flow of capital into the advanced biofuel market and to increase the benefits to California.