WASHINGTON, July 5, 2017 - U.S. fuel ethanol production reached 15.5 billion gallons per year at the beginning of 2017. That translates to 1.01 million barrels daily, according to the latest U.S. Fuel Ethanol Plant Production Capacity report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The numbers show a 4 percent increase in total capacity of operable ethanol plants between January 2016 and January 2017, with those plants producing 600 million gallons more than the previous year.

The Midwest region is home to a majority of the country’s 198 ethanol plants. This region produced 14 billion gallons over the same report period and also showed a 4 percent increase. The year’s increase amounts to more than 530 million gallons above the 2015-2016 production numbers.

Nameplate production capacity, the measure of capacity that EIA tracks, is the plant manufacturer’s stated design capacity to produce fuel ethanol during a 12-month period. The Midwest is home to 12 of the top 13 fuel ethanol-producing states, including the top three producing states of Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois, which together produce more than half of the nation’s ethanol.

According to the EIA’s June Monthly Energy Review, consumption of biofuels, such as ethanol, is also on the rise. Analyses from the first quarter of 2017 show 102,000 more barrels consumed than during that same period in 2016.