The USDA released a report that measures economic growth, job creation and household income form biofuel and household income form biofuel and bioenergy production, along with future growth in renewable chemicals and bio-based products. According to the new report, innovations in renewable energies and the emergence of a new generation of bio-based products, the sectors that drive the bio-based economy are providing job creation and economic growth. To further understand and analyze trends in the bio-based economy, this report compares several years of data. A few key highlights include: (Source: USDA, Indicators of the U.S. Bio-Based Economy)
- Ethanol plant capacity increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2017, reaching a nameplate capacity of approximately 15.5 billion gallons per year. Total ethanol production reached 1.02 million barrels per day in 2017, a rate equivalent to 15.8 billion gallons. This compares to just 175 million in 1980.
- Number of ethanol plants in the U.S. continues to see modest growth, increasing to 211 biorefineries in 28 states with 3 new facilities under construction. Meantime, the number of retail gasoline stations offering 15% ethanol more than doubled from the previous year, to more than 1,200 across 29 states. In total this accounts for over 270,000 American jobs.
- The U.S. market for biodiesel and renewable diesel topped 2.6 billion gallons in 2017 as compared to 343 million gallons in 2010.
- During the period of 2005 to 2012, soybean used for biodiesel increased form 0.67 billion pounds to 6.2 billion pounds.
- Wood pellets manufactured primarily in the southeastern U.S. have become an important component of the bioenergy sector. Driven by commitments by countries outside of the U.S. to meet greenhouse gas reduction goals in the electricity-generating sector, the U.S. has established itself as the largest exporter of wood pellets. The U.S. exported over 4.6 billion kg of wood pellets, which is the global leader by almost 3.0 billion kg over the second-largest exporter.
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