Recent reports have suggested that Tesla is looking to enter the United States’ multi-billion-dollar renewable credit market, which would allow the company to profit from the Biden administration’s efforts to meet its aggressive zero-emissions goals.
The update about the EV maker’s strategy was related to Reuters by two individuals reportedly familiar with the matter. According to the publication’s sources, Tesla is one of at least eight companies with a pending application at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to power generation and renewable credits.
Tesla’s push towards the renewable energy market could open new opportunities for the EV maker. The US renewable energy market, which was established in the mid-2000s as a way to boost the local biofuel industry, generated some 18 billion credits in 2020. The market is also dominated, at least for now, by ethanol producers.
The Biden administration is now expected to review the applications submitted to the EPA, while outlining how EVs could qualify for tradable credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS was created during the Bush administration, and it was designed to push the United States away from oil imports while supporting rural America.
Reuters noted that Tesla’s application is likely tied to the production of electricity associated with biogas. Interestingly enough, Tesla would likely be generating the program’s most lucrative credits, known as D3s, which trade at a premium compared to traditional ethanol credits.
The arrival of Tesla and possibly other electric vehicle makers to the renewable energy market would usher in some positive effects for the sustainability movement, such as additional investments for key infrastructure like rapid-charging stations for EVs. However, Tesla’s presence in the market may also aggravate entities in the local refining industry, which would have to buy credits generated by the EV maker and other alternative fuel providers.
Such a scenario practically results in the refining industry’s players subsidizing companies that may put them out of business in the future. This is something that has been happening in the EV sector, with legacy automakers like Fiat Chrysler practically aiding in the construction of facilities like Tesla’s Gigafactory Shanghai through their purchase of EV credits.
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