Global Market Survey on Biodiesel

Global biofuels intelligence firm Emerging Markets Online announces the release of Biodiesel 2020: A Global Market Survey, 2nd edition (685 pages, February 2008), a fact-filled study designed to help financiers, producers, developers, distributors, consultants and analysts with detailed, comprehensive analysis of biodiesel feedstock alternatives, second generation technologies, biodiesel production trends, long-term forecasts and scenarios.

The 2nd edition of the Biodiesel 2020 study finds the biodiesel industry is entering four fundamental transitions: (a) from traditional soy/rapeseed/palm feedstocks to alternative, non-food feedstocks; (b) from commercial markets in developed countries to emerging markets in developing nations; (c) from 1st generation plants to 2nd generation technologies; and (d) from first stage government policies to revised policies favoring sustainable fuels.

The Biodiesel 2020 study finds each of these industry transitions presents considerable growth opportunities and challenges for biodiesel producers, feedstock developers, and entrepreneurs.

Biodiesel Emerges as a Global Industry

“Biodiesel markets world-wide are entering a period of rapid transitional growth, creating both uncertainty and opportunity. First generation biodiesel markets in Europe and the US have reached impressive biodiesel production capacity levels, but remain constrained by feedstock availability. In the BRIC nations of Brazil, India and China, recent government initiatives are spawning hundreds of new opportunities for feedstock development, biodiesel production, and export," said Biodiesel 2020 author Will Thurmond.

"Biodiesel 2020 observes a fundamental transition in global transport fuels production. In the year 2007, there were only 20 oil producing nations supplying the needs of over 200 nations. By the year 2010, more than 200 nations will become biodiesel producing nations and suppliers," said Thurmond.

Growth in Alternative, Non-Food Feedstocks

Biodiesel feedstock markets world-wide are in transition from first generation feedstocks soy, rapeseed and palm oil to alternative, lower cost, non-food feedstocks. As a result, a surge in demand for alternative feedstocks is driving new growth opportunities in the sector.

"Biodiesel growth from non-food feedstocks is gaining traction around the world," said Thurmond. "For example, China recently set aside an area the size of England to produce jatropha and other non-food plants for biodiesel. India has up to 60 million hectares of non-arable land available to produce jatropha, and intends to replace 20% of diesel fuels with jatropha-based biodiesel. In Brazil and Africa, there are significant programs underway dedicated to producing non-food crops jatropha and castor for biodiesel."

For each of the emerging feedstock sectors, the Biodiesel 2020 study provides comprehensive analysis and in depth profiles of jatropha, tallow, used vegetable oil, yellow grease, and renewable diesel ventures. Algae-based biodiesel projects are also reviewed in detail, including a list of algae projects and detailed project profiles of leading commercial-grade algae ventures.

Second Generation Biofuels Enter the Mainstream

An increasing number of second generation biodiesel projects are now emerging in anticipation of growing public sector sustainability concerns, and in response to increasing private sector market demands for improved process efficiencies and greater feedstock production yields.

Government policies and targets for biofuels in the EU, the US and China are evolving and becoming increasingly complex. Second generation biofuels from algae, renewable diesel, biomass to liquids and cellulosic diesel will play an increasingly important role in meeting ambitious production targets and sustainability criteria.

"In the US and the EU, algae, renewable diesel and BTL-based biodiesel ventures are growing in response to demands for clean fuels. Each of these endeavors clearly demonstrates increased public and private sector interest and investment in non-food, second generation markets," said Thurmond.

"If governments continue to pro-actively support research & development in second generation technologies using alternative, non-food feedstocks such as algae, jatropha, castor, used vegetable oil, tallow, and recycled waste feedstocks, the prospects for achieving sustainable biodiesel targets may be realized faster than anticipated."

Biodiesel Winners and Losers

"Our research finds these fundamental transitions in the biodiesel industry will inevitably lead to a consolidation among smaller, first generation producers from 2008 to 2010; accompanied by multiple mergers and acquisitions in the field," said author Will Thurmond.

"Transitions in the biodiesel industry will create winners and losers in the near term. The Biodiesel 2020 study concludes biodiesel producers that are best able to adapt to transitions in feedstocks, government policies, markets, and technologies are most likely to succeed over the long term."

Biodiesel 2020: A Global Market Survey, 2nd edition was published in February, 2008 (685 pages) and is now available.

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