Biofuels changing the energy game

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One of the most significant developments in the energy industry of late is the progress happening for biofuels. Biofuels are having an increasingly large impact on the industry, and according to new research, this impact is set to continue.

Navigant Research has reported that global biofuels production will grow hugely in the next decade, from 33.6 billion gallons per year (BGY) in 2013 to 61.6 BGY in 2013.

The biofuels industry has already been growing steadily for the last decade with fuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, and now the next generation of advanced biofuels is getting closer.

Fuels created from non-food feedstocks and drop-in synthetic substitutes for gasoline, diesel, and kerosene-based jet fuel, are some of the newer and more advanced forms of biofuel.

"North America is leading the transition to advanced biofuels, but healthy growth in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America is helping to diversify the fuel supply for a range of transportation applications," said Mackinnon Lawrence, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. 

"Although the scale-up of new production capacity will face significant headwinds in the coming decade, global biofuels production is anticipated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of six per cent from 2013 and 2023 - almost twice as fast as the growth rate for fossil-based gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel over the same period."

Biofuels are becoming more important around the world as countries look to secure their futures. A big motivation is decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as supporting agricultural interests and reducing dependency on petroleum.

In recent years, Australia has looked strongly into developing biofuels.

In 2011 an advisory council was created by the minister for resources and energy, to provide advice to the government on how best to allocate funds towards the development of biofuels, and a report was released identifying key ways in which Australia could develop a world-class biofuels industry.

Last year, a $15 million competitive Advanced Biofuels Investment Readiness Program was launched, supporting the development of advanced biofuels.

This year, it was announced that $9.8 million would go towards two projects through the government's initiative. These funds were awarded to Licella Pty Ltd for its Biomass to Bio-crude: Producing Advanced Drop-in Fuels for Australia project and Muradel for its Advancing Established and Integrated Marine Microalgae Biofuel to Commercialisation project.

Posted by Charlie Moore