Renewable diesel made up 10 percent of Calif. diesel supply in Q2

By Ron Kotrba | November 15, 2018

The net supply of renewable diesel to California’s fuel market reached 100 million gallons during the second quarter of this year, topping 10 percent of the total diesel supplied to the state in that quarter, according to a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Driving demand for low-carbon fuels like renewable diesel and biodiesel is, naturally, the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which regulates and incrementally reduces greenhouse gas emissions from motor fuels by 20 percent through 2030 compared to a 2010 baseline (originally 10 percent by 2020) by assigning carbon intensities to various fuels.

Carbon intensity is measured in grams of carbon dioxide equivalent per megajoule (gCO2e/MJ), and the average carbon intensity of renewable diesel is about 30 gCO2e/MJ, which is approximately the same as biodiesel’s average carbon intensity. Ethanol, however, averages roughly 50 gCO2e/MJ. Ultra-low sulfur diesel averages about 102 gCO2e/MJ.

Low-carbon fuels generate credits that can be bought, sold and traded by regulated parties to meet requirements. According to the EIA, the total volume of LCFS credits associated with renewable diesel exceeded that of fuel ethanol for the first time in 2018, reaching about 870,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent during the second quarter.

“While renewable diesel imports from Singapore remain significant, planned renewable diesel production capacity additions during the next several years have the potential to increase the share of domestic renewable diesel in the California market,” the EIA report states. 

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