Gasoline (new plant). New refinery cost to convert crude oil to gasoline are included for comparison. Costs of producing crude oil and gasoline station costs are not.

The overall infrastructure investment needs for a vehicle using any of the fuels in Table G.1 is found by multiplying this investment cost by the fuel (gge) consumed per day. Using 13,000 miles per year for all vehicles, 4.0 miles per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for electric vehicles (EVs), 80 miles/gge for HFCVs, and 40 miles/gge for liquid fuel vehicles to reflect approximate 2030 mileage rates shown in the Chapter 5 Reference Case, the investment costs per vehicle are shown in Tables G.2 and G.3.


From the fuels perspective, policy areas where actions are required to progress along the path of research and development, demonstration, deployment, and rapid growth for each of the alternate fuels. Policy actions need to address, in an effective manner, each of the areas marked with an X or the fuel pathway is unlikely to grow to maturity with production in low-GHG methods (Table G.4).


Several potential sources of non-food biomass can be used to produce biofuels. They include crop residues such as corn stover and wheat straw, fast-growing perennial grasses such as switchgrass and Miscanthus, whole trees and wood waste, municipal solid waste, and algae. Each potential source has a production limit.

Several studies have been published on the estimated the amount of biomass that can be sustainably produced in the United States. All of the studies focused on meeting particular production goals, and none of them project biomass availability beyond 2030. For example, the objective of the report Biomass as Feedstock for a Bioenergy and Bioproducts Industry: The Technical Feasibility of a Billion-Ton Annual Supply (commonly referred to as the “billion-ton study”) was to determine the feasibility of producing sufficient biomass to reduce petroleum consumption by 30 percent (Perlack et al., 2005). That study estimated that 1 billion tons of biomass would be needed to displace 30 percent of the U.S. petroleum consumption in 2005. The four studies that were analyzed in the report Renewable Fuel Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy (NRC, 2011) focused on the feasibility of producing sufficient biomass to meet the RFS2 mandates in 2022. All those studies concluded that sufficient RFS-compliant biomass would be available to produce biofuels for meeting the consumption mandate. None of these studies attempted to estimate the maximum production rates that could be attained if the RFS2 biomass restrictions were eliminated or if different economic assumptions, such as a carbon tax, were made.

The 2009 report Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (NAS-NAE-NRC, 2009) evaluated the role of biofuels in America’s energy future. The panel assessed the potential availability of biomass feedstock that would not incur competition for land with crops or pasture and for which the environmental impact of biomass production for biofuels was no worse than the original land use. They concluded that 550 million dry tons of cellulosic feedstock could be sustainably produced for biofuels in 2020. The billion-ton study (Perlack et al., 2005) was recently updated and the U.S. Billion Ton Update was released in 2011 (DOE, 2011). As in the first study, its objective was to estimate if 1 billion tons of biomass could be sustainably and economically produced in the lower 48 states by the year 2030. Projections beyond 2030 were not made, and the study did not attempt to estimate maximum biomass that could be harvested. The updated study defined “economic production” as all material that could be produced at or below a farm-gate price of $60/dry ton. This is not an average biorefinery feedstock price, but is a maximum price at the farm or

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