Biofuels market to top $280 billion by 2022

The world market for biofuels is set to rise from $100 billion (€70 billion) to over $280 billion by 2022, according to a report by the Pike Institute.

The report predicts that the increasing number of countries introducing biofuel consumption mandates and the higher production capacity from improved second-generation feedstocks will drive a worldwide annual growth rate of 15% between 2009 and 2022.

Eventually, traditional biofuels will face stiff competition from drop-in replacements such as renewable diesel and green petrol.

The financial prospects have already attracted several big oil companies such as BP. According to the American Petroleum Institute, oil and gas companies were found to have invested $58.4 billion between 2000 and 2008.

The development of second-generation feedstocks that can be more intensively cultivated will reduce the carbon footprint of biofuels by reducing the need for deforestation to plant crops. This year, destruction of the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, which has previously accounted for the majority of Brazil’s carbon emissions, dropped to lower than ever recorded.

The report predicts a series of sudden jumps in biofuel production spurred on by feedstock advances such as low-grade greases, jatropha and finally algal oil.

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