Biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel can significantly reduce global dependence on oil, according to a new report by the Worldwatch Institute, released in collaboration with the German Agencies for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Renewable Resources (FNR). Biofuels for Transportation: Global Potential and Implications for Sustainable Agriculture and Energy in the 21st Century, sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV), is a comprehensive assessment of the opportunities and risks associated with the large-scale international development of biofuels.
Last year, world biofuel production surpassed 670,000 barrels per day, the equivalent of about 1 percent of the global transport fuel market. Although oil still accounts for more than 96 percent of transport fuel use, biofuel production has doubled since 2001 and is poised for even stronger growth as the industry responds to higher fuel prices and supportive government policies. “Coordinated action to expand biofuel markets and advance new technologies could relieve pressure on oil prices while strengthening agricultural economies and reducing climate-altering emissions,” says Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin.