Also known as: Renewable identification number
RINs are essentially records of individual batches of renewable fuel being blended into the US gasoline and diesel pools. RINs are created when a batch of renewable fuel is made. Each batch receives a unique identification number (hence the name). RINs become usable as credits ("released") once the renewable fuel is blended into gasoline or diesel in the US. Once released, RINs can be traded. Refiners and fuel importers in the US are required to provide the EPA with RINs every year based on the volume of gasoline and diesel that they supply into the US market. They largely get these RINs by buying them from the blenders who release them as blending occurs.
The RIN obligation is set each year by the EPA based on an estimate of what US fuel demand will be and a target for renewables use as a share of demand. The obligation is published as the number of RINs that are required for each gallon of fuel supplied by refiners and importers.
There are four different types of RINs that are required for every gallon of fuel supplied. These are:
- Renewable fuel RIN
- Biodiesel RIN
- Advanced biofuel RIN
- Cellulosic RIN