Today, at the Farm Futures Business Summit in Iowa, both corn farmers and ethanol industry leaders shed light on the future of ethanol. The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) sponsored the panel with Iowa corn farmer and NCGA Ethanol Action Team (ETHAT) member Kelly Nieuwenhuis, Renewable Fuels Association CEO Geoff Cooper, and Growth Energy Senior Vice President Mike Lorenz.
RFA CEO Geoff Cooper kicked off the panel discussion, outlining the landscape of the industry, noting that ethanol is a renewable, high-octane, hydrogen-rich low-carbon molecule with an incredibly bright future. “We have a lot of room to grow in the world market,” Cooper stated. “Corn ethanol’s average reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline is 46%. No other fuel at the same scale can make that claim.”
Growth Energy SVP of Market Development Mike Lorenz, who spent 20 years with Sheetz, discussed the expansion of higher blends of ethanol, like E15. “The future of ethanol is now,” Lorenz told the crowd. “Liquid fuels will play an important role in the fleet moving forward, and ethanol plays a key role in decarbonizing our transportation pool.”
NCGA ETHAT member Kelly Nieuwenhuis wrapped up the discussion talking about the importance of the ethanol industry to corn farmers and why he’s optimistic about the future of biofuels. “We’re working on a lot of great initiatives with our partners in the ethanol industry that people should be excited about,” Nieuwenhuis said. “Our work on pump infrastructure with Wayne Fueling Systems, engine testing at the University of California at Riverside with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to show the environmental benefits and compatibility of E15, and work on the Next Generation Fuels Act are just a few of the things we’re working on to grow the ethanol market.”
The event was a hybrid event with more than 200 farmers in attendance.