Sustainable production of second-generation biofuels - Potential and perspectives in major economies and developing countries

Jan 2010

This study first discusses the global status quo of second-generation biofuels and their potential role in the future energy supply. Next, the study identifies global drivers for the development of this new industry and their impact on developing and emerging countries. The potential impact of biofuel mandates in the European Union and the United States on second-generation biofuel development in developing and emerging countries is analysed, as is the access to funding for second-generation R&D in these countries. This report then reviews recent studies on bioenergy potentials to point out key factors that impact the potential production of biomass for use as bioenergy. The scenarios and the assumptions made are compared to the current situation in the eight studied countries in order to evaluate how realistic the scenarios might be and what key barriers exist to mobilise large amounts of biomass for the production of second-generation biofuels.
Based on the expectation that agricultural and forestry residues could be the most sustainable feedstock for second-generation biofuels, an availability assessment is undertaken to explore what role this feedstock could play in global transport fuel supply. Using crop and roundwood production data from the FAO, the production of residues and technically feasible second-generation biofuel yields are assessed for 2007 and 2030. Amounts of biofuels are calculated under two assumptions:
one, that 25% of all residues are available, as indicated in previous studies; the other, that only 10% of residues could be used sustainably, as has been indicated in some of the studied countries. The results are then discussed in light of the country profiles to assess the economic, social and environmental impacts of second-generation biofuel production in major economies and developing countries.
The country profiles presented in Annex A of this study assess the current state of the art of biofuel production and perspectives on second-generation biofuels. This includes the assessment of agricultural and forestry residues and their availability for second-generation biofuel production.
The political framework for such a new industry is also discussed, as are sustainability aspects related to a future production of the new fuels. The country profiles were conducted in close collaboration with local consultants to ensure access to the best available data. Due to the scale of the project, analyses undertaken in the country profiles are based on existing data; no primary research has been undertaken.

By: International Energy Agency

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