Guest Opinion: Ethanol must embrace a low-carbon future
By Jeff Oestmann, CEO, Heron Lake BioEnergy and Granite Falls Energy
September 19, 2022
Many may not know, but Minnesota’s ethanol industry is the third largest in the United States and is responsible for purchasing and beginning the value-added processing of over half of the corn crop produced in the state.
As the world continues to focus on ways to reduce emissions from all aspects of our economy and utilize more renewable energy resources in the process, it is critical that Minnesota’s ethanol industry take the necessary steps to ensure that biofuels like ethanol remain a viable low-carbon solution and competitive in that marketplace in the years and decades to come.
Our facility at Granite Falls is committed to reducing our carbon emissions 70% by 2030 and capable of producing net zero, or even carbon-negative ethanol by 2050 or sooner. Many factors have gone into our plant’s decision and several factors are being weighed as to how we will achieve this enormous task. With other low-carbon options emerging, such as electric vehicles, challenges like small refinery waivers, and the ongoing issues associated with the pandemic, we needed to choose the right course that would enhance our plant’s long-term viability and ensure we can continue to access critical marketplaces.
At the end of our analysis, Summit Carbon Solutions was a clear choice in carbon capture and storage technology that we are confident will advance our low-carbon goals.
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