<body> --------------
Contact Us       Consulting       Projects       Our Goals       About Us
home » Archive »
Nature Blog Network

    Spanish engineering and energy company Abengoa says it had suspended bioethanol production at the biggest of its three Spanish plants because it was unprofitable. It cited high grain prices and uncertainty about the national market for ethanol. Earlier this year, the plant, located in Salamanca, ceased production for similar reasons. To Biopact this is yet another indication that biofuel production in the EU/US does not make sense and must be relocated to the Global South, where the biofuel can be produced competitively and sustainably, without relying on food crops. Reuters - September 24, 2007.

    The Midlands Consortium, comprised of the universities of Birmingham, Loughborough and Nottingham, is chosen to host Britain's new Energy Technologies Institute, a £1 billion national organisation which will aim to develop cleaner energies. University of Nottingham - September 21, 2007.

    The EGGER group, one of the leading European manufacturers of chipboard, MDF and OSB boards has begun work on installing a 50MW biomass boiler for its production site in Rion. The new furnace will recycle 60,000 tonnes of offcuts to be used in the new combined heat and power (CHP) station as an ecological fuel. The facility will reduce consumption of natural gas by 75%. IHB Network - September 21, 2007.

    Analysts fear that record oil prices will fuel general inflation in Kenya, particularly hitting the poorest hard. They call for the development of new policies and strategies to cope with sustained high oil prices. Such policies include alternative fuels like biofuels, conservation measures, and more investments in oil and gas exploration. The poor in Kenya are hit hardest by the sharp increase, because they spend most of their budget on fuel and transport. Furthermore, in oil intensive economies like Kenya, high oil prices push up prices for food and most other basic goods. All Africa - September 20, 2007.

    Finland's Metso Power has won an order to supply Kalmar Energi Värme AB with a biomass-fired power boiler for the company’s new combined heat and power plant in Kalmar on the east coast of Sweden. Start-up for the plant is scheduled for the end of 2009. The value of the order is approximately EUR 55 million. The power boiler (90 MWth) will utilize bubbling fluidized bed technology and will burn biomass replacing old district heating boilers and reducing the consumption of oil. The delivery will also include a flue gas condensing system to increase plant's district heat production. Metso Corporation - September 19, 2007.

    Jo-Carroll Energy announced today its plan to build an 80 megawatt, biomass-fueled, renewable energy center in Illinois. The US$ 140 million plant will be fueled by various types of renewable biomass, such as clean waste wood, corn stover and switchgrass. Jo-Carroll Energy - September 18, 2007.

    Beihai Gofar Marine Biological Industry Co Ltd, in China's southern region of Guangxi, plans to build a 100,000 tonne-per-year fuel ethanol plant using cassava as feedstock. The Shanghai-listed company plans to raise about 560 million yuan ($74.5 million) in a share placement to finance the project and boost its cash flow. Reuters - September 18, 2007.

    The oil-dependent island state of Fiji has requested US company Avalor Capital, LLC, to invest in biodiesel and ethanol. The Fiji government has urged the company to move its $250million 'Fiji Biofuels Project' forward at the earliest possible date. Fiji Live - September 18, 2007.

    The Bowen Group, one of Ireland's biggest construction groups has announced a strategic move into the biomass energy sector. It is planning a €25 million investment over the next five years to fund up to 100 projects that will create electricity from biomass. Its ambition is to install up to 135 megawatts of biomass-fuelled heat from local forestry sources, which is equal to 50 million litres or about €25m worth of imported oil. Irish Examiner - September 16, 2007.

    According to Dr Niphon Poapongsakorn, dean of Economics at Thammasat University in Thailand, cassava-based ethanol is competitive when oil is above $40 per barrel. Thailand is the world's largest producer and exporter of cassava for industrial use. Bangkok Post - September 14, 2007.

    German biogas and biodiesel developer BKN BioKraftstoff Nord AG has generated gross proceeds totaling €5.5 million as part of its capital increase from authorized capital. Ad Hoc News - September 13, 2007.

    NewGen Technologies, Inc. announced that it and Titan Global Holdings, Inc. completed a definitive Biofuels Supply Agreement which will become effective upon Titan’s acquisition of Appalachian Oil Company. Given APPCO’s current distribution of over 225 million gallons of fuel products per year, the initial expected ethanol supply to APPCO should exceed 1 million gallons a month. Charlotte dBusinessNews - September 13, 2007.

    Oil prices reach record highs as the U.S. Energy Information Agency releases a report that showed crude oil inventories fell by more than seven million barrels last week. The rise comes despite a decision by the international oil cartel, OPEC, to raise its output quota by 500,000 barrels. Reuters - September 12, 2007.

    OPEC decided today to increase the volume of crude supplied to the market by Member Countries (excluding Angola and Iraq) by 500,000 b/d, effective 1 November 2007. The decision comes after oil reached near record-highs and after Saudi Aramco announced that last year's crude oil production declined by 1.7 percent, while exports declined by 3.1 percent. OPEC - September 11, 2007.

    GreenField Ethanol and Monsanto Canada launch the 'Gro-ethanol' program which invites Ontario's farmers to grow corn seed containing Monsanto traits, specifically for the ethanol market. The corn hybrids eligible for the program include Monsanto traits that produce higher yielding corn for ethanol production. MarketWire - September 11, 2007.

Creative Commons License

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Study: biofuels to supply more than 15% of world's transport fuels by 2030

Market analyst Global Insight, Inc. says in a new study titled The Biofuels Boom: Implications for Automotive, Agriculture & Energy [*.pdf] that more than 100 billion gallons (378.5 billion liters) of bioethanol and biodiesel will be produced globally per year by 2030, an amount equal to more than 15% of the world's road transport fuel needs.

The study runs with two basic scenarios on liquid transport fuels that show dramatically different implications, paths, and consequences for the economy, for biofuel producers and for the automotive industry. The reference case is titled 'Market remanaged' and is based on the idea that OPEC re-emerges as the market ‘governor’. OPEC attempts to manage prices in the low $60/bbl range. The second scenario, titled 'Supply constrained' conceives of a new oil market era, in which the supply-demand balance is based on demand, with supply having difficulties to keep track; price spikes are common and unprecedented oil price levels of more than $100/bbl become a reality.

The study analyses the feasibility of bioconversion technologies, by looking at the entire production chain (biomass propagation, growth, harvesting, and collection; biomass pretreatment). The technologies covered are the biochemical route (sugars into ethanol), the thermochemical routes (gasification, pyrolysis), ordinary transesterification and the hydrogenation of vegetable oils to produce 'green diesel'. Biobutanol is covered as well. Table 1 offers an overview of which technologies Global Insight thinks to be commercially and economically feasible over the longer term, and in which state of development they currently are.

Potential supply
Under the different scenarios, biofuels will increase significantly, possibly reaching 15% of the total motor fuel pool world-wide (graph, click to enlarge). Both the EU, the U.S. and Brazil remain leaders.
  • The United States could reach 35% of on-road petroleum demand — in the same range as Brazil
  • Biomass producers will be in an advantageous position to produce renewable fuel feedstocks
  • The move will affect oil and gas producers in the United States and Canada by shifting away from petroleum-based fuels
When it comes to biodiesel, the study says that demand and potential supply can be based on non-edible oils such as jatropha, on wood waste, and other non-food products. In Europe, new technologies employing biomass conversion into liquids look promising such as NExBTL developed by Neste. In the U.S. biodiesel demand is expected to reach around 5 billion gallons (18.9 bn liters) by 2030, whereas in the EU it will stand at around 7 bn gallons (26.5 bn liters) by then. The EU has a supply gap and will have to rely on imported feedstocks (graph, click to enlarge).

U.S. growth in bioethanol will continue to come mainly from corn, and is projected to reach 15 bn gallons by 2015 (about 1 million barrels per day) and a whopping 60 bn gallons by 2030. In the EU demand is expected to reach slightly less than 3.5 bn gallons (13.2 bn liters) by 2030, but growth will be again be limited by local supply constraints and must rely on imports from Africa and South America (graph, click to enlarge). We think the projection for U.S. production of ethanol is slightly unrealistic, especially given the much higher commercial feasibility of producing the fuel in the South.

Implications for the Automotive Industry
Based on a survey of automotive manufacturers and analyses by Global Insight’s Automotive Group, the report shows what are the possible consequences of the biofuels boom for automotive manufacturers:
  • High volumes of biofuels in the United States will almost certainly require flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on blends up to 85% ethanol (E85)
  • In Europe, ethanol content is held for most countries to 10% (E10), which is technically compatible in current vehicles
  • Biodiesel levels of 5% (B5) are possible in virtually all vehicles, and new vehicles can be developed to accept blends up to 30% (B30)
  • Technical fixes to meet higher biofuels levels are known, but will add some costs to vehicles
Zooming in on these consequences as they may be expected under the two scenarios and as they relate to vehicle emissions, the report finds the following for the EU:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

'Market remanaged' scenario
  • 2012: EU standard of 130 g/km CO2 emissions (without biofuels benefit) could be met
  • 2018: EU new vehicle CO2 emissions reach 120 g/km (without renewable fuel credit) and holds at this level to the end of the period
'Supply constrained' scenario
  • 2012: EU standard of 130 g/km CO2 emissions (without biofuels benefit) could be met
  • 2018: EU new vehicle CO2 emissions reach 120 g/km
  • 2025: EU new car efficiency is 90 g/km CO2

For the U.S., the situation looks as follows:

'Market remanaged' scenario
  • 2018: New vehicle fleet fuel economy reaches 32 mpg (193 g/km CO2), but there is much uncertainty
  • 2030: New vehicle fleet fuel economy reaches 48 mpg (128 g/km CO2), but there is much uncertainty
'Supply constrained' scenario
  • 2020: New vehicle fleet fuel economy reaches 45 mpg (137 g/km CO2), but there is much uncertainty; requires 60% hybridization in the United States
  • 2030: New vehicle fleet fuel economy reaches 53 mpg (117 g/km CO2), but there is much uncertainty

Implications for hybrid vehicles
The study finds that hybrid vehicles are introduced across all major (high volume) model lines, and hybrid diesels are introduced. As the cost of hybrid components decreases, the diesel-hybrid combination becomes attractive as a market differentiator.

Diesels will continue to play a significant role in EU
In 2008 diesel cars trend at 50–60% share of the new car fleet, in 2009 diesel hybrids enter the market as mechanism for meeting fuel efficiency CO2 emissions targets. By 2015 diesel vehicles take 65% of the new light duty vehicle fleet, whereas by 2030 diesels are expected to make up 35% of light duty vehicle fleet and at least 25% of the on-road fleet.

The study was conducted by Global Insight's Agriculture, Automotive and Energy Groups who worked with some 20 companies and organizations representing different perspectives of the biofuels industry. The Global Insight study was released at a conference in Monaco sponsored by the Foundation Prince Albert II de Monaco.

Global Insight: The Biofuels Boom: Implications for Agriculture, Energy, and Automotive - [*.pdf], detailed presentation - July 2007.

Global Insight: The Biofuels Boom: Implications for Agriculture, Energy, and Automotive, study page.


Guilherme Vieira Scripes said...

Very interesting study on Biofuels and its environmental and economical implications.

I am using it as a source of information for my Graduation Thesis about Ethanol's Regulation in Brazil as a Key for its International Commerce Expansion.

2:59 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home