October 6, 2009
Source: Clean Edge News

Despite a number of key issues such as land use and competition for feedstocks supplies for traditional food and feed uses, global use of biofuels is expected to more than double from 2009 to 2015, according to a new global analysis released by Hart’s Global Biofuels Center (GBC). The United States is expected to lead expansion with an estimated growth of total biofuels use of more than 35 percent. The report also estimates that Brazil will grow domestic supplies by 30 percent and more than double export volume, while Indonesia and Malaysia will more than double production of palm oil biodiesel. Germany is expected to remain the largest producer of biofuels in Europe.

GBC projects that major new contributors to the growth of global biofuels between 2009 and 2015 will include Indonesia, France, China, India, Thailand, Colombia, Malaysia, Philippines and Argentina. First generation ethanol, palm oil biodiesel and rapeseed biodiesel from Europe are predicted to continue to be the dominant biofuels produced.

Despite major public policy interest in next-generation biofuels, actual commercial growth in the production and use of these fuels between 2009 and 2015 is projected to remain behind expectations. Hart’s recently released Global Biofuels Outlook to 2015 revealed that out of the approximately 170 next-generation biofuels projects around the world that are in some stage of development (operational, under construction or proposed), only 30 percent of those are actually expected to be operating during the study timeframe, and many of those are still in the pilot project stage.

“Be it cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, biomass-to-liquids (BTL) or Fischer Tropsch liquids, made from feedstocks such as agricultural or municipal solid wastes, grasses, woods, waste paper and algae, next-generation biofuels are still largely under Research & Development,” said Tammy Klein, Executive Director of the Global Biofuels Center and the study leader.

The study expects that mandates set that require next generation biofuels will not be met, particularly in the U.S. According to GBC, sugarcane ethanol from Brazil is currently the only commercially available, economical, lowcarbon biofuel available on the market currently to meet U.S. RFS2 advanced biofuel and other lowcarbon fuel requirements.

Other report findings include:

— Global ethanol demand will represent 12-14 percent of the global gasoline pool by 2015;
— Asia-Pacific ethanol production will grow tremendously in the coming years and could represent as much as 20 percent of global ethanol production by 2015;
— Of note, if India’s own projections were realized, it could outpace Brazil in ethanol production and exporting by 2015. Nonetheless, despite India’s ethanol production expansion Hart projects that Brazil will remain the leading global biofuels exporter.

More information on the study findings, methodology and geographical coverage is available at www.globalbiofuelscenter.com.