Financing Growth of Cellulosic Ethanol

The corn grain ethanol industry experienced rapid growth from 2005- 07. U.S. financial markets obliged and supplied credit at reasonable cost and terms which facilitated this expansion. Now, the biofuel industry is being challenged to nearly triple production under recently passed federal legislation, 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, in the midst of a collapse of worldwide financial markets. However, the status of U.S. financial markets is in question. Both existing first generation and prospective next generation biofuel plants are demanding a large influx of capital to support adoption of new technological innovations. First generation plants require the innovations to remain low cost producers in highly competitive commodity markets. Second generation plants seek innovations to commercialize the production of cellulosic and advanced biofuels. In either case, the ability of financial markets to supply needed credit is unclear due to impediments that have reduced the borrowing capacity of biofuel firms; uncertainty surrounding future industry performance benchmarks, tax provisions, and implementation of current biofuel legislation; and the need for new risk management strategies which protect firm margins in volatile economic times.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-25

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