2021 Virtual Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit Recap
2021 was a unique year in Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit history. For the first time ever, the Summit went virtual! The Summit took place on January 26th and attracted over 800 registered attendees. From the comfort of home, viewers enjoyed a day jam-packed with live speakers and roundtable discussions on the future of biofuels, responding to current industry issues and even, at times, breaking news.
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association President Mike Jerke kicked off the day by welcoming viewers to the virtual Summit and thanking Summit sponsors and trade show exhibitors.
State of the Iowa Industry Address
Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw delivered his annual “State of the Iowa Industry” address, declaring the biofuels industry “battered, but battling for a better future.”
New Direction: Biofuels Policy in 2021 and Beyond
The first roundtable discussion of the day was on the future of biofuels policy with new leadership in the White House and Congress. The roundtable included:
New Drivers: What’s Steering Investments in Biofuels
Next up was a roundtable discussion between several biofuel company decisionmakers over what new and exciting investment opportunities in the marketplace were driving future plans within their companies. The roundtable included:
- Neil Koehler, President, KBE
- Walter Cronin, Chief Commercial Officer, Green Plains, Inc.
- Natalie Merrill, Senior VP of Business Development and Optimization, Renewable Energy Group, Inc.
- Kelly Nieuwenhuis, President, Siouxland Energy
- Moderator: Brad Wilson, General Manager and President, Western Iowa Energy
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds joined the 2021 Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit. She discussed past battles fought to defend Iowa biofuels and future actions her office will take to protect and grow ethanol and biodiesel demand on a state and federal level.
Industry Keynote – Emily Skor, Growth Energy
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor delivered the 2021 Summit industry keynote address. Covering everything from working with the Biden Administration to the role of biofuels in decarbonizing transportation, Skor went over past challenges as well as future opportunities for U.S. biofuels.
New Normal: Markets in a Post-COVID World
The third roundtable discussion of the day tackled the big question of what to expect for biofuel and ag markets when the world moves beyond the current pandemic. The roundtable featured:
New Opportunities: Exporting Biofuels’ Benefits
The day wrapped up with a roundtable discussion on opportunities in export markets. The discussion included: