Global biofuel production up by 17% in 2010 – Worldwatch Institute

30 August 2011 16:52  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Global production of biofuels increased by 17% during 2010, reaching a record high of 105bn litres, according to figures released by independent research body Worldwatch Institute on Tuesday.

The institute believes biofuels production rose because of higher oil prices, a rebound in the global economy and new mandates in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China and the US.

The US and Brazil were the two largest producers of ethanol during 2010, producing 49bn litres and 28bn litres respectively. These rates combined constitute 90% of global ethanol production.

It is thought that US ethanol production increased because high oil prices encouraged some oil companies to enter the ethanol industry.

Robust oil prices were also behind Brazil’s increased production of ethanol, with the prevalence of flexi-fuel vehicles leading many drivers to opt for bio-based fuels because they are cheaper than fossil fuels.

Europe remained the largest producer of biodiesel, generating 53% of global production during 2010.

The institute believes this situation could change, however, with some European countries likely to switch from biodiesel to ethanol because “a recent report from the European Commission states that ethanol crops have a higher energy content than biodiesel crops”.

By: Sarah Trinder
+44 20 8652 3214

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