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California Air Resources Board readopts Low Carbon Fuel Standard, adopts regulation on alternative diesel fuels

The Air Resources Board a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (), which requires a 10% reduction by 2020 in the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. The program requires that transportation fuels used in California meet a baseline target for carbon intensity which is reduced each year.

The Board also adopted a regulation governing alternative diesel fuels (). The regulation puts in place a three-step process beginning in 2016 to create a path to bring cleaner diesel substitutes into the market.

LCFS. The LCFS applies to liquid and non-liquid fuels. If a product is above the annual carbon intensity target, the fuel incurs deficits. If a product is below that target, the fuel generates credits which may be used later for compliance, or sold to other producers who have deficits. So far, fuel producers are over-complying with the regulation.

LCFS Compliance Schedule 2011-2020
Year Average Carbon Intensity (gCO2e/MJ)
Gasoline and Gasoline Substitutes Diesel and Diesel Substitutes
2011 95.61[1] 94.47[4]
2012 95.37 94.24
2013 97.96[2] 97.05[5]
2014 97.96 97.05
2015 97.96 97.05
2016 96.50[3] 99.97[6]
2017 95.02 98.44
2018 93.55 96.91
2019 91.08 94.36
2020 and beyond 88.62 91.81
[1] The average carbon intensity requirements for years 2011 and 2012 reflect reductions from base year (2010) CI values for CaRFG (95.85) calculated using the CI for crude oil supplied to California refineries in 2006.

[2] The average carbon intensity requirements for years 2013 to 2015 reflect reductions from revised base year (2010) CI values for CaRFG (98.95) calculated using the CI for crude oil supplied to California refineries in 2010.

[3] In 2015 the LCFS was readopted and the CI modeling updated. The average carbon intensity requirements for years 2016 to 2020 reflect reductions from revised base year (2010) CI values for CaRFG (98.47).

[4] The average carbon intensity requirements for years 2011 and 2012 reflect reductions from base year (2010) CI values for ULSD (94.71) calculated using the CI for crude oil supplied to California refineries in 2006.

[5] The average carbon intensity requirements for years 2013 to 2015 reflect reductions from revised base year (2010) CI values for ULSD (98.03) calculated using the CI for crude oil supplied to California refineries in 2010.

[6] In 2015 the LCFS was readopted and the CI modeling updated. The average carbon intensity requirements for years 2016 to 2020 reflect reductions from revised base year (2010) CI values for ULSD (102.01).

A number of alternative fuels are presumed to have a full fuel cycle carbon intensity that meets the compliance schedules; these include: electricity; hydrogen; a hydrogen blend; fossil CNG derived from North American sources; Bio-CNG; Bio-LNG; and Bio-L-CNG.

Carbon intensity is determined through a life cycle analysis measuring the amount of carbon generated during the extraction, production, transportation, and combustion of a fuel. The LCFS does not require use of any specific fuel, only that regulated parties find a blend of fuels and credits that will meet the declining target each year.

The decline in the LCFS carbon intensity targets was frozen due to a legal challenge. To address the court’s ruling and to strengthen the program, the Air Resources Board readopted the LCFS regulation following public testimony delivered yesterday at the first of a two-day Board meeting.

The readopted version of the LCFS includes a number of modifications developed with stakeholder input. These include:

  • Incorporating additional cost containment in response to stakeholder concerns about possible price spikes by including a mechanism to cap LCFS credit prices;

  • Streamlining the application process for alternative fuel producers seeking a carbon intensity score; and

  • Improving the process for earning LCFS credits by charging electric vehicles.

Alternative Diesel Fuels. In addition to establishing the new process, this also establishes requirements and fuel specifications for biodiesel to ensure the emissions of NOx from biodiesel use will not increase, and will be reduced over time. Biodiesel and other ADFs can help producers achieve their target under the LCFS.

Comments

SJC

Renewable gasoline and diesel cleans the air and reduces oil imports.

electric-car-insider.com

Considering the relatively small cost of a hybrid drivetrain vs the aggregate health and environmental costs of ICEs, greater emphasis should be placed on electrification.

SJC

Use cellulose E85 in a hybrid. The other 15% can be renewable gasoline. EVs are about 0.1% of sales after 5 years, if we sit around wishing and hoping it might be 1% after ten more years. E10 gave us 10% with no changes.

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