Biofuel production growth tapering off

/ 05:18 AM October 30, 2017

Lower energy prices and tempered interest in biofuels have pushed down the growth in the global output of crop-derived fuel, but the Philippines is grouped among countries expected to drive continued expansion.

According to the World Bank, growth in biofuel production exceeded 20 percent per year from 2001 to 2010.


However, growth fell to about 4 percent during the past five years, the multilateral lender said in its latest Commodity Market Outlook report.

“Current projections by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization point to even lower biofuels production growth in the next decade,” the World Bank said.


“Lower energy prices and the gradual acknowledgment by various governments of the limited environmental and energy-independence benefits of biofuel policies have dampened prospects for the biofuels sector,” the bank added.

Data from the report show that biofuels currently account for a little over 1.5 million barrels a day, or 1.6 percent of global liquid energy consumption.

“Most biofuel production is not profitable at current energy and agricultural prices, is supported through various forms of mandates and trade measures,” the World Bank said.

About 85 percent of global production of biofuels comes mainly from the United States in the form of maize-based ethanol; Brazil as sugarcane-based ethanol, and Europe as edible oil-based biodiesel.

According to Grand View Research Inc., the Philippines, along with China and India, is tipped to drive global ethanol fuel market growth of 7 percent yearly to reach $115.7 billion by 2025.

“China, India, and Philippines are the key countries that are considered to positively impact the industry growth in the future,” the company said.

“Significant blending mandates in Australia, China, and Philippines are considered to drive the market demand during the forecast period,” Grand View added.


Grand View said that, interview of volume, the sugar-based segment of the global ethanol fuel market was expected to rise at a mean rate of 5.4 percent yearly from 2017 to 2025.

The company added that, in terms of revenue, the product demand was expected to reach $24.4 billion by the end of 2025.

“Technological advancement in the production of ethyl alcohol…is expected to propel the industry growth during the forecast period,” Grand View said.—RONNEL W. DOMINGO

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