Global Biofuel Market Boom: Bioethanol & Biodiesel Production to Hit 151 Billion Liters by 2016

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Bioethanol is the largest segment of the global biofuel consumption market. (Photo: Patrick Hajzler)
Bioethanol is the largest segment of the global biofuel consumption market. (Photo: Patrick Hajzler)


  • Global biofuel production is set to grow 8% annually over the next five years
  • Highest production growth rates: Sweden (32%), Colombia (24%) and India (20%)
  • EU leads for regional biodiesel production; USA leads for ethanol

Global biofuel production will increase at an annual rate of 8% over the next five years, according to a report by research firm MarketsandMarkets. Production levels of bioethanol and biodiesel are expected to rise from around 103 billion liters in 2011 to over 151 billion liters in 2016.

Countries with especially high growth rates include Sweden (32%), Colombia (24%), India (20%), and Thailand (16%), with the United States, Brazil, France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands also indicating a rise in production.

The European Union currently accounts for the highest regional production levels of biodiesel. Recent government incentives throughout Asia have resulted in a boom in construction of biodiesel plants, which will see production levels rise dramatically in coming years.

Higher Demand for Renewable Transportation Fuel

The growing demand for renewable transportation fuel saw the United States producing close to 46% of the world's ethanol in 2010, with Brazil contributing 29%. Together these two nations represent the second-largest biofuel production region in the world.

Royal Dutch Shell and Brazilian fuel giant Cosan announced in February a $12 billion joint venture to develop biofuels. Under the name Raizen, the two companies will operate 23 ethanol plants producing more than 2.2 billion liters of fuel per year.

In recent years, the focus on the environment and global warming has resulted in more research and development in the area of renewable energy. The use of biofuels releases less carbon into the environment than traditional fossil fuels and also reduces dependence on foreign sources of oil, providing economic benefits as well as environmental.

Key Players - Biofuel Industry

  • Leading global biofuel industry players include: Royal Dutch Shell (NED), Cosan (BRA), Dynamic Fuels (US), Coolplanet Biofuels (US), Novozymes (DEN), Bluefire Renewables (US), TMO Renewables (US), Abengoa Bioenergy (ESP), Range Fuels (US), Argent Energy (UK), Iogen (CAN) and POET (US)

Key Statistics - Biofuel Industry Consumption (source: Datamonitor)

  • The global biofuel consumption market grew by over 24% in 2010 to a value of $127,587 million; it is expected to hit $250,512 million in 2015 - or over a 96% rise from 2010.
  • The Americas hold almost 74% of the global biofuel consumption market value.
  • Bioethanol - with 83% of total ?market volume - is the largest segment of the global biofuel consumption market.

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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