National Advanced Biofuel Conference Wrap-up: Agreeing to Disagree...Or Not.

By Anna Simet, Biomass Magazine.

I just got back from the National Advanced Biofuel Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, and as you can imagine, I’ve got a pile of work to catch up on.

It was a very good show. Fewer in attendance than previous years, for obvious reasons, but it was a concentrated group of folks, serious stakeholders focused on figuring out the industry’s state and its plan forward. If you’re in the renewable fuel industry, you likely know the renewable fuel standard (RFS) is an issue of major contention right now (leave it alone, versus opening it up for changes). Read a recap of a panel on that very subject here.

If one thing is clear, it is what NABCE keynote Todd Becker underscored: renewable fuel makers of all kinds need to band together, instead of bash each other, to get where we need to go.  Kicking the show off, Becker—CEO of ethanol producer Green Plains—delivered a thoughtful and inspiring speech about the journey to where his company is today, and provided a checklist of advice points for new companies working to get off of the ground. While Green Plains is a first-generation ethanol producer, that sector also started from square one to build up the empire that it is today, and there are a lot of parallels.