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Going Beyond the Blend Wall: Policy Incentives for Fuel Consumers to Supplement the Renewable Fuel Standard


  • Zhong, Jia
  • Khanna, Madhu
  • Chen, Xiaoguang


The direct incentive from the renewable fuel standard for fuel consumers is limited while the penetration of flexible fuel vehicles (FFV) stays stagnated. To study alternative policy incentives and its mechanism targeted at consumer to supplement the standards from the demand side, we develop a framework of dynamic economic partial equilibrium model. We find that under RFS 2022 schedule, explicitly pronounced cross-subsidization on both fuels (yearly average $0.41/gge tax on preblended fuel and $2.35/gge subsidy on ethanol) and vehicles (average $2.8k tax on CV and $2.4k purchase subsidy on FFV) are needed for consumers to switch to higher ethanol blends and FFV. The retail E100 is priced lower than its energy content as with E10 to the extent to attract FFV users consume higher blends and stimulate FFV purchase while offset the drawbacks of the higher vehicle costs and its less fuel efficiency. A lengthened policy not only alleviates the pricing strategies pressure but also reduces the welfare loss. Improved competitiveness in sales price is more effective in benefiting the vehicle drivers with less feebate intensity.

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  • Zhong, Jia & Khanna, Madhu & Chen, Xiaoguang, 2017. "Going Beyond the Blend Wall: Policy Incentives for Fuel Consumers to Supplement the Renewable Fuel Standard," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 258483, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea17:258483
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.258483

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lapan, Harvey & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2012. "Second-best biofuel policies and the welfare effects of quantity mandates and subsidies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 224-241.
    2. Chen, Xiaoguang & Huang, Haixiao & Khanna, Madhu & Önal, Hayri, 2014. "Alternative transportation fuel standards: Welfare effects and climate benefits," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 241-257.
    3. Christopher R. Knittel & Ben S. Meiselman & James H. Stock, 2017. "The Pass-Through of RIN Prices to Wholesale and Retail Fuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 1081-1119.
    4. Khanna, Madhu & Nuñez, Hector M. & Zilberman, David, 2016. "Who pays and who gains from fuel policies in Brazil?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 133-143.
    5. Jingbo Cui & Harvey Lapan & GianCarlo Moschini & Joseph Cooper, 2011. "Welfare Impacts of Alternative Biofuel and Energy Policies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1235-1256.
    6. Bruce A. Babcock, 2013. "RFS Compliance Costs and Incentives to Invest in Ethanol Infrastructure," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 13-pb13, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    7. Gabriel E Lade & C -Y Cynthia Lin Lawell & Aaron Smith, 2018. "Policy Shocks and Market-Based Regulations: Evidence from the Renewable Fuel Standard," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 100(3), pages 707-731.
    8. Meghan R. Busse & Christopher R. Knittel & Florian Zettelmeyer, 2013. "Are Consumers Myopic? Evidence from New and Used Car Purchases," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 220-256, February.
    9. Liao, Kenneth & Pouliot, Sébastien, 2016. "Estimates of the Demand for E85 Using Stated-Preference Data off Revealed-Preference Choices," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 236107, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Luchansky, Matthew S. & Monks, James, 2009. "Supply and demand elasticities in the U.S. ethanol fuel market," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 403-410, May.
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    Resource/Energy Economics and Policy; Demand and Price Analysis; Land Economics/Use;

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