EIA: Higher Biodiesel Production in '17

OAKHURST, N.J. (DTN) -- In its most recent short-term energy outlook Tuesday, the Energy Information Administration forecast biodiesel production for 2016 to average 99,000 barrels per day and 104,000 bpd in 2017, compared to 82,000 bpd in 2015.

Net imports of biomass-based diesel are expected to rise from 31,000 bpd in 2015 to 45,000 bpd in 2016 and 51,000 bpd in 2017.

Projected ethanol consumption averages about 940,000 bpd in both 2016 and 2017, reflecting the ethanol share of the total gasoline pool averaging 10% in both years.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Nov. 23 finalized Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2017. EIA used the final volumes to develop the current forecast. The agency said it expects the largest effect of the finalized 2017 RFS targets will be on biomass-based diesel consumption. That category includes both biodiesel and renewable diesel and helps to meet the RFS targets for use of biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel.

The EIA said after a decline of 2.6% in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2015, emissions are projected to decline by 1.3% in 2016. Those emissions are projected to increase by about 0.9% in 2017. Energy-related CO2 emissions are sensitive to changes in weather, economic growth and energy prices.