Automakers and biogas producers are poised to commercialize the Renewable Fuel Standard ‘eRIN’ program via Bridge to Renewables platform
WASHINGTON, May 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Leading automakers and biogas producers intend to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) eRINs program through a proprietary platform developed by Bridge to Renewables (BTR). Electric-RINs or “eRINs” are credits that may be generated under the RFS by combining biogas-derived energy production data with electric vehicle (EV) charging information. If the EPA finalizes its proposal, eRIN generation would begin in 2024, encouraging the transition to EVs and growth in the cellulosic fuels category, a longtime goal of the RFS.
“We applaud the EPA for including a logical and compelling framework for eRIN generation under the RFS in its recent proposed rule. As the EPA noted in its proposal, implementing the eRINs program will help encourage the transition to EVs and increase investment in mitigating emissions and utilizing biogas to produce renewable energy,” said Jack Barrow, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, BTR.
The eRINs program has the potential to be one of the most significant developments in the RFS since its inception nearly two decades ago. The EPA estimate for eRIN generation in the first year of the program implies more than 4 million megawatt-hours of biogas-derived energy may be used for EV charging — a material opportunity for the EV and biogas industries generally. Both automakers and biogas producers are excited about the potential impact eRINs will have on efforts to decarbonize and are actively preparing to realize it.
“This program represents a complementary opportunity to catalyze and accelerate growth in the EV and renewable energy markets,” said Michael Maten, Director of EV Policy and Regulatory Affairs, General Motors. “GM is proud to help establish a structure that will support both industries; we hope the eRINs program will be leveraged broadly to encourage new developments and reduce emissions.”
BTR is currently working with eight (8) leading automakers, including GM, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volkswagen, and others. Each of these companies intends to individually procure RFS-qualifying energy from a diverse group of biogas producers through BTR. BTR’s platform is designed to efficiently connect participating biogas producers to the automakers.
“Having a strategic partner to help navigate the EPA’s requirements and to streamline collaboration with participating automakers will be very important for everyone, but it will be particularly important for smaller companies like ours,” said Thomas Yeransian, Principal, CommonWealth Resource Management Corporation (CWRM), a developer and operator of several landfills that produce biogas. “BTR enables us to participate in the eRIN program right away, which ensures it will benefit the entire industry.”
Many small- and medium-scale agricultural facilities, landfills, and wastewater facilities will benefit from the access the platform provides to automakers, eliminating a potential barrier to participating in the new program. Others like CWRM collaborating with BTR include Vespene Energy, Pacolet Milliken, leading agriculture digester developer California Bioenergy, and many more.
Larger biogas producers with portfolios of facilities, including bp and OPAL Fuels, are also in discussions to work with BTR to collectively supply a significant amount of the energy that will be used by the automakers to generate eRINs. BTR’s ability to connect these larger producers to multiple automakers simultaneously provides flexibility and helps defray single-counterparty dependency.
“We are excited to work with companies like BTR and such an impressive collection of automakers,” said Adam Comora, Co-Chief Executive Officer, OPAL Fuels. “Allocating a portion of our biogas and renewable energy portfolio to multiple automakers simultaneously through this platform provides many benefits across the value chain of the eRINs program. We strongly encourage the EPA to finalize its proposal, which we know will provide additional tools necessary to achieve our collective goals in fighting climate change.”
BTR is aiming to define best practices for the eRINs program ahead of the EPA’s final rulemaking, expected June 2023. The Company offers to act as an agent to help manage and facilitate the process of reporting EV fleet information and charging data and generating eRINs for participating automakers. BTR can also manage the application, registration, and reporting processes for biogas producers.
“Audi views the timely launch of the eRIN program as vital to two important environmental outcomes. First, it supports Audi’s mission to deploy more all-electric vehicles and sends a strong market signal to do so rapidly. And second, it incentivizes the production of renewable energy, further decarbonizing the energy system that supports those all-electric vehicles,” said Spencer Reeder, Director of Government Affairs and Sustainability at Audi of America. “Both of these outcomes are highly aligned with Audi’s goals for realizing a more sustainable transportation system. This underscores the importance of the work BTR has done and all other efforts to support a successful launch of the eRIN program next year.”
Bridge to Renewables, Inc. (dba “BTR”) is on a mission to maximize the environmental impact of every electric vehicle, everywhere. Since its founding in 2015 by family team Mike, Jim, and Chrys Lemon, BTR has been one of the earliest supporters of the eRINs program and has continuously engaged the EPA in developing its regulations. The Company provides an industry-leading platform that empowers electric vehicle manufacturers, fleet operators, charging station networks, and renewable energy generators to work together to reduce emissions and to participate in low carbon and renewable transportation fuel programs, like the eRINs program and California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Through these new and innovative strategic partnerships, BTR supports its clients in electrifying and decarbonizing the transportation sector. For more information, visit: www.btr.energy
Media Contact: Ashley P. Beaty
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SOURCE BTR Energy