You are here: Home Public Policies Policies in the United States U.S. Biofuel Policy

U.S. Biofuel Policy

The United States is the largest producer and consumer of ethanol in the world. Corn ethanol has been produced in the U.S. for more than 30 years and has blossomed into a thriving industry. U.S. farms and refineries generate nearly half of all ethanol produced around the globe, or 45 million liters (12 billion gallons) in 2010. Ethanol policy in the U.S. is based mainly on:

  • Renewable Fuels Standard – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees the world’s most ambitious program to promote ethanol. The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2), created by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), requires adding continually increasing volumes of renewable sources into the country’s fuel supply – growing from nearly 49 billion liters (13 billion gallons) in 2011 up to 136 billion liters (36 billion gallons) by 2022.

    As the agency implemented RFS2, EPA determined that sugarcane ethanol cuts carbon dioxide emissions by more than 60 percent and designated it an Advanced Renewable Fuel.  This designation puts sugarcane ethanol in an important category of superior biofuels that will make up 79.5 billion liters (21 billion gallons) of the fuel supply in the United States by 2022 – an amount equal to about 15 percent of today’s gasoline market.  Sugarcane ethanol plays a modest but important role supplying Americans with clean renewable fuel. Learn more about sugarcane ethanol's impact on the RFS.

Other U.S. Policies

On a state level, California enacted the first low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) in the world in 2007 with the objective of lowering by 10 percent the carbon intensity of its transportation fuels when compared to gasoline by the year 2020. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) oversees this program and is responsible for conducting the life-cycle analysis for all fuels used for transportation in California. Under CARB’s most recent analysis, Brazilian sugarcane ethanol is considered one of the lowest carbon fuels available today at commercial scale.

Global Agenda Subscribe to an RSS Feed of events
20 World Bio-Markets Conference

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

20 – 22 March 2018
24 8th Annual Platts Kingsman Geneva Sugar Conference

Geneva, Switzerland

24 – 25 April 2018
See Complete Agenda

Renewable Fuel Standard

An illustration of a fuel pump with an ethanol E on the front.

  • What is the Renewable Fuels Standard?
  • What is sugarcane's role?  
  • Can Americans depend on biofuels from sugarcane?

Learn More Button

Sugarcane Solutions Blog

Decarbonising transport: This is the time to get it right*

The European Parliament will soon vote on the recast of the renewables directive (RED II). One of the most effective solutions available today to decrease carbon emissions in transport is the use of sustainable biofuels. The European Parliament needs to make sure that we harness solutions that can tackle climate change in the short-term. Sustainable bioenergy, particularly sugarcane ethanol, is one of those options.

Read on


Site Map
About Us Privacy Policy