The unprecedented, nationwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic sent a shockwave throughout the biofuels industry. Due to stay-at-home orders across the country, drivers vacated the roads, which caused gasoline and ethanol demand to plummet.
In just a few weeks, demand fell by 50% and ethanol production fell as low as 9.45 billion gallons annualized (compared to 15.8 billion gallons pre-pandemic). With a fast-shrinking market for biofuels, ethanol stockpiles reached all-time highs and prices crashed, causing plants to face significant losses on every gallon produced.
As ethanol plants were forced to slow production or idle altogether, markets down the supply stream were impacted too. Corn farmers struggled. Food and beverage companies and water treatment facilities that use carbon dioxide from our plants faced shortages. Livestock owners who purchase dried distillers grains (DDGs) to feed their cattle had to find more costly and less nutritious alternatives. As cars returned to the road, gasoline and ethanol demand has steadily risen, but production remains below pre-pandemic levels, and financial relief remains key to our industry’s recovery.
Growth Energy continues to support:
Ethanol's proven environmental benefits make it a key piece of our nation's goals to decarbonize the transport sector. We look forward to working with nominee for Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm on the clean energy solutions she focused on in her Senate hearing. https://t.co/BsDm5so53r
.@POTUS's executive order is a reminder of the link between our climate + our economy, and we’re eager to help the Administration deliver on promises to unleash biofuels as a key solution to climate change + restore economic opportunity in rural America. growthenergy.org/2021/01/27/gro…
A new study published by researchers from Environmental Health and Engineering Inc., Harvard University and Tufts University shows corn #ethanol emits 46 percent fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than gasoline.https://t.co/fn49TbwlqL https://t.co/pIbYDv7wnz