RIN values are often a key consideration in making renewable fuels. RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers) are the 38-digit serial number assigned to renewable transportation fuels and heating oils that are made from an approved renewable feedstock. RINs are generated when a fuel is produced, and they are initially attached to the gallon of renewable fuel. From there, they are either sold with that gallon of fuel, or separated and sold by themselves. Finally, a RIN is retired when it is used to demonstrate compliance or required to be retired for some other reason.
These RINS (credits) are bought and sold and used for compliance and are the currency of RFS program. They have a value of their own and are traded in two forms. Assigned RINs are those directly associated with a batch of fuel and which travel with that batch of fuel from party to party. Many purchasers buy both the renewable fuel and RINs together. There are also separated RINs – ones formerly assigned to a batch of fuel which have been separated from that batch and are sold separately to obligated parties who need to show their RFS compliance.
There are several types of RINS, call D3, D4, D5, D6 and D7 RINS. Which type is determined by the feedstock and process that was used to create the gallon of biofuel or heating oil. As of this writing in 2020, the prices of RINS have ranged as follows: D3 RINS – $.69 – $1.63; D4 RINS – $.35 – $.37; D5 RINS – $.34 – $.62; D6 RINS – $.01 – $.34. As one will readily note, obtaining the best classification for the product made from any given feedstock is imperative, and thus it is critical that producers and investors either have an in-depth knowledge of RIN values, or that they hire a RIN expert. (As a side note, and subject for another day, there are also Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credits in many states for renewables. This also is a separate expertise).
Large renewable energy and biochemical consulting firms will certainly have experts in RINS, RIN values, LCFS and the more common areas like biofuels, biomaterials, biomass, biomass power, bio-based chemicals, biotechnologies and renewable fuels and chemicals in general. Energy consultants should be willing to discuss client’s initial questions about renewable energy sources, the types of biofuels, biofuel companies, synthetic biology, the fermentation process, biomass renewable energy, biofuel energy, conversion technologies for things like tires and railroad ties, and about the circular economy in general. These clean energy experts would optimally be part of a larger, multidisciplinary group of green energy consultants with a wide variety of expertise in more specialized areas like biomass production, financial due diligence, organic synthesis, fuel additives, ethanol gas, biodiesel fuel including algae biofuels, solid state and industrial fermentation, green energy grants, ag biotech, agricultural waste, alcohol fuels, alternative proteins and animal-free products, sustainable foods, beverage fermentation, biocatalysis, biodiesel conversion, biogas production, biomass power, carbon intensity, co2 utilization, combined heat & power, Fischer-Tropsch technology, food waste, hydrothermal carbonization, industrial enzymes, landfill management, microbial fermentation, organic synthesis, plastic pyrolysis, plastic recycling, plastic waste, pyrolysis oil, reactor design, renewable identification number, the Renewable Fuel Standard (rfs2), solid recovered fuels, torrefaction and torrefied biomass, waste to energy, and waste-to-hydrogen. Finally, members and strategic partners of these green energy consulting firms should also have the availability to do things like engineering, technical feasibility studies and techno-economic analysis, due diligence, and feasibility studies, and provide expert witness testimony, and should have the contacts to assist with renewable energy finance, accounting, plant safety and insurance, legal, and virtually any other services related to the bioeconomy.
Lee Enterprises Consulting is the world’s premier bioeconomy consulting group, with over 100 highly qualified experts serving in all these areas. Take a look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information. See “Is This Feedstock Approved“? Also, see Due Diligence for Bioeconomy Projects.