A new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA) says that the widespread deployment of biofuels can play an important role in reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector and enhancing energy security, when produced sustainably.
With the transportation sector growing considerably, and demand for transport fuels rising globally, the IEA assesses biofuels – liquid and gaseous fuels derived from biomass (organic material derived from plants and animals) – as one of the key technologies to reduce CO2 emissions and reduce dependency on liquid transport fuels. The report shows how global biofuel consumption can increase in a sustainable way – one in which production of biofuels brings significant life cycle environmental benefits and does not compromise food security – from 55 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) today to 750 Mtoe in 2050; this would mean that the global share of biofuel in total transport fuel would grow from 2% today to 27% in 2050.
“While vehicle efficiency will be the most important and most cost-efficient way to reduce transport-emissions, biofuels will still be needed to provide low-carbon fuel alternatives for planes, marine vessels and other heavy transport modes, and will eventually provide one fifth (2.1 gigatonnes of CO2) of emission reductions in the transport sector,” Bo Diczfalusy, the IEA’s Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology, said at the launch of the report today in Washington.
The IEA prepared the Technology Roadmap Biofuels for Transport in consultation with representatives of government, industry, academia and non-governmental organizations. The roadmap provides an overview of the current status of different conventional and advanced biofuel technologies and the latest research on sustainability issues related to biofuel production. It also charts a course for expanding the production and use of biofuels to 2050, in a sustainable way.