California already replaces 50% of fossil fuel with a program that should be a reference for Brazil

by Erasmo Carlos Battistella

California (USA) reached an important milestone by replacing 50% of the diesel used in the state with clean fuels in the first quarter of 2023. The information was announced by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Board) at the end of last year and highlighted during the Clean Fuels Conference, held at the beginning of February in Fort Worth, Texas (USA).

According to Dr. Steven Cliff, Executive Director of CARB, “a 50% reduction in diesel fuel means cleaner air, healthier communities and a commitment to achieving carbon neutrality in California by 2045.”

The common thread behind this impressive achievement is California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard Program (LCFS), a public policy that was an inspiration for our National Biofuel Policy (RenovaBio), which aims to expand the Brazil the production and use of biofuels in the Brazilian energy matrix.

Carbon intensity for the LCFS program is measured through analysis of a fuel’s life cycle that includes all stages from extraction, transportation and production.

The LCFS helped replace nearly 7.4 billion liters of diesel in 2022 with a combination of cleaner fuels, including renewable diesel, biodiesel, electricity and hydrogen. Since its inception, the program has helped replace more than 31.8 billion liters of diesel.

Fuel of the Future
The Future Fuel Bill (PL 4,516/2023) should be voted on in the Chamber of Deputies soon, covering a set of actions aimed at promoting the use of biodiesel, ethanol, advanced biofuels, hydrogen, biogas and biomethane.

For us at this time, the LCFS is an example of the importance of defining Public Policy to attract investment, business and jobs and how it has helped make California a leader in the innovative development and production of clean fuels. The production of green diesel (HVO) and aviation biokerosene (SAF) are already realities that put the United States 10 years ahead of us.

“The clean fuels industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years thanks to a global push to reduce carbon emissions and promote environmental sustainability,” highlighted Donnell Rehagen, CEO of the Clean Fuels Alliance America, an entity of which our company is a part. .

He pointed out that clean fuels should already represent up to 60% of the market in California. “This growth is driven by increased investment, technological advances, policies and a growing awareness of the need for low-carbon alternatives,” he analyzed.

The LCFS is one of several programs developed under AB32 – the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Other programs are great references for our automotive and transportation sector such as:

  • Cap-and-Trade, which establishes a decreasing limit for emissions permitted in the state of California, requiring industry to pay for the pollution produced;
  • Advanced Clean Trucks
  • and Advanced Clean Fleets, which implement a gradual transition to sell and implement clean truck technology in California, in line with the goal that requires all heavy-duty vehicles traveling in the state to be zero-emissions by 2045.

In July of last year, CARB announced the Clean Truck Partnership with the country’s leading truck manufacturers, including the Association of Engine and Truck Manufacturers and its member companies, and Ford Motor Company, which promotes the development of clean truck technology. zero-emission trucks, adding even more momentum to the shift to cleaner transportation fuels.

On the eve of deciding on the Fuel of the Future Project, it is always good to be inspired by the advanced experience of the United States, with the successful combination of Public Policies with initiatives and investments from biofuel producers and the partnership with associations of vehicle manufacturers and carmakers, all moving together in the same direction.

This article was published in the epbr agency.

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