According to a study conducted by a team of scientists from University of Illinois, the renewable energy policy in the U.S. referred to as Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS), should only be adjusted in respect to the changing views on biofuels, and its flaws should not be used as an excuse to postpone the transition from fossil fuels.
The research, which is surprisingly partly supported by BP, outlines the importance of replacing fossil fuels with alternative energy sources in order to meet consumer energy needs, while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions. The study also notes that being the only policy in the U.S., which encourages and supports renewables, RFS should not be neglected, as many petroleum giants try to so that they can fulfill their own agenda.
Professor Jay P. Kesan and his colleague Timothy A. Slating, point out that RFS should be reviewed and modified so that it boosts the efficiency of the existing regulatory regime, and it should be used as a guideline to shaping up and estimating the needed incentives and support for renewable energy technologies.
The researchers put a special emphasis on the subject of biofuels. Kesan and Slating point out that instead of providing tax credits and grants, the government should be less involved, giving room to the Environmental Protection Agency to implement the necessary changes to the policy via the regulatory process, so that RFS could best reflect the biofuel production reality, and involve all stakeholders.
The main goal of RFS is to encourage the production of new generation biofuels, such as cellulosic biofuels, which do not compete or threaten food production. If this is achieved, the authors are convinced that new type of biofuels will soon emerge.
The implementation of the RFS began three years ago, hence drastic measures such as legislative revision should not be taken. The authors point out that some time is needed for all stakeholders and the market to adjust to what is believed to be a socially beneficial renewable energy policy.