Biofuels Have Central Role in Low-Carbon Economy
by Bliss Baker (Global Renewable Fuels Alliance /Ethanol Producer Magazine) … For years, the private sector and experts from nongovernmental organizations had been signaling the shift in the global economy away from historically favorable investments in fossil fuels to growing opportunities in renewables. These predictions are now being borne out in the real world as private sector investment and employment growth transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy technologies.
The International Energy Agency reported that between 2014 and 2016, upstream oil and gas investment dropped by 44 percent, while investment in new renewables-based power capacity remained the largest area of electricity sector spending in 2016.
In terms of employment, the International Renewable Energy Agency reported in its most recent annual review that current trends project the number of people working in the renewables sector could reach 24 million by 2030, compared to 9.8 million in 2016. It estimates this job growth in renewables would more than offset anticipated fossil-fuel job losses over the same period.
This economic transition is taking place despite the fact that global fossil fuel subsidies continue to be more than twice as large as those for renewables.
In sharp contrast to the progress made in integrating renewable technologies elsewhere, the global transport sector has the lowest renewable energy share of any sector, even though it represents 25 to 30 percent of global emissions.
Where policymakers from advanced economies have set ambitious renewable targets aimed at other technologies, and taken the steps necessary to achieve them, the same can no longer be said for biofuels.
As the only commercially available and immediately dispatchable low-carbon transport fuel alternative to crude oil, biofuels are the obvious choice for countries to affordably slash transport sector greenhouse gas emissions and drive economic growth. Given that global blending capacity is nowhere near its full potential, biofuels will have a vital role to play in enabling the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon global transport sector. READ MORE