Global ethanol, biodiesel consumption 135 billion gallons by 2018

By Global Industry Analysts Inc. | August 15, 2012

Global Industry Analysts Inc. has released a comprehensive global report on ethanol and biodiesel markets. The global consumption of ethanol and biodiesel is projected to reach 135 billion gallons by the year 2018. Biofuels are fast growing to become a prominent alternative energy resource, driven mainly by the growing environmental concerns with regard to the usage of fossil fuels. Besides environmental concerns, limited fossil fuel resources, complete dependence on oil exporting countries for supply, and increase in energy prices are the other factors expected to drive production as well as consumption of biofuels in the near future.

Several growing concerns prevail with regards to the usage of fossil fuels, foremost among them being the impact on the environment, followed by energy price increases, complete dependence on oil exporting countries for supply, market volatility as in 2008 and 2009, and limited resources. This, together with the fact that some of the important fossil fuel reserves are distributed unevenly across the globe, makes the issue of equality in terms of energy supply highly controversial. The continuing high level economic growth in several countries across the globe, more particularly in the developing countries, also resulted in the need for alternative sources or fuels, including biofuels, which provide an opportunity for improving energy security, while reducing the dependence on fossil fuels. Though biofuels form a very small share of the overall energy source pie currently, these alternative fuels are expected to hold much better position over the coming years in the form of clean alternatives to fossil fuels.

Development of biofuel projects is underway in many countries across the globe owing to several benefits offered by these alternative fuels over fossil fuels. Biofuels are currently attracting generous governmental support for R&D and large-scale production. Regulatory frameworks and policies are also in place in several countries for guiding and promoting the usage of biofuels in the respective transportation sectors.

The United States represents the largest consumer worldwide, as stated by the new market research report on ethanol and biodiesel. Given the recent shortages in supply from Brazil and the consequent high prices of sugar in the country, the U.S. is expected to outperform Brazil, thereby becoming the leading ethanol exporter in the world in the near term. The emerging market for advanced biofuels in the U.S. continues to attract policy makers and investors. Leading players in the industry continue to make investments towards technological developments and setting up of production facilities. Governmental support, higher investments by manufacturers and technological innovations are also contributing to the industry’s faster growth. The biofuel industry is exploring other feedstock, such as algae, jatropha seeds, and palm oil to reduce the dependence on corn so as to overcome the controversy associated with food as well as the supply and pricing issues. Growth-wise, however, the Asia-Pacific region is showing immense potential for future growth for biofuels, including bioethanol and biodiesel, and is projected to grow at an overall fastest compounded annual growth rate of 28.8 percent over the analysis period.

Next-generation biofuels, including the second- and the third-generation biofuels, which are currently under development, are predicted to offer more benefits when compared to the first-generation biofuels. These include cellulosic ethanol, BTL from solid biowaste, and renewable diesel to name a few. However, with the process of conversion of cellulose into sugars for fermentation being quite difficult, research is underway for developing microbes, enzymes, and fungi that could breakdown celluloses into sugars. Nevertheless, despite the significant investments in research and development, commercialization of the next generation biofuels is not expected to happen anywhere in the next eight to 10 years owing to the several technical barriers on the way.

In production terms, there has been a tremendous increase in the production of biofuels, with the global biofuel production almost tripling since the year 2000. Major biofuel producing countries include the U.S., Canada, Brazil, select European Union countries, China, and India. The United States is the largest producer of ethanol and biodiesel. The U.S. and Brazil are likely to continue their dominance over global biofuel supply in the medium term. However, in the long term, the Asian countries (China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia) are forecast to increase their production, capturing share from the present major producing nations. The advantage of developing countries in producing biofuels is the availability of cheap raw material.

Despite the opportunities, certain concerns with regard to overall energy efficiency of biofuels, environment, prices, food security, and economic rationale are coming in the way of the sector’s development. Most of the present generation biofuels are diverting agricultural commodities away from the animal and human food chain, thereby threatening food security. For instance, many biofuels use corn, sugarcane, barley, soy bean, rapeseed, cassava, as feedstocks. Such an uncontrolled diversion is predicted to have serious implications on the production, availability as well as prices of these agricultural commodities in future. Not just on food security, but implications of the rapid development of biofuels is expected on biodiversity, environment, and rural development. Furthermore, the ongoing Euro Crisis is expected to have a serious impact on the biodiesel demand growth in the developed world, specifically Europe. Monetary tightening and few other factors, such as the withdrawal of fiscal stimulus in many countries across Europe, is expected to dampen growth prospects for biofuels.

Major players profiled in the report include Abengoa Bioenergy Corp., Archer Daniels Midland Co., ADM Hamburg AG, Biodico, CNOOC Biolux (Nantong) Bioenergy Protein Feed Co. Ltd., Cargill Inc., Copersucar, Cosan S/A Ind. e Comércio, Diester Industries, Greenfield Ethanol Inc., Green Star Products Inc., Griffin Industries, American Biofuels, Neste Oil, Orkla AS, Petroplus Holdings AG, POET Ethanol Products, Renewable Energy Group, Sasol Ltd., Solazyme Inc., Topia Energy Inc., Valero Energy Corp., Valero Renewable Fuels Co. LLC, VERBIO Diesel Bitterfeld GmbH & Co., KG., Virent Inc., Wilmar International Ltd., World Energy Alternatives LLC, among others.

The research report titled “Biofuels (Bioethanol and Biodiesel): A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the global biofuel market, bioethanol market, biodiesel market, production scenario, key market trends, environmental impact, product overview, recent industry activity, product launches, and profiles of major/niche global as well as regional market participants. The report provides annual consumption estimates and projections for biofuels market for the years 2010 through 2018 for the following geographic markets: U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), Latin America, and Rest of World. Also, a six-year (2004-2009) historic analysis is provided for additional perspective.

For more details about this comprehensive market research report, click here.  


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