Canadian Biomass Magazine

Biofuel development essential: WBA

March 28, 2013
By World Bioenergy Association

March 28, 2013, Stockholm, SE – The World Bioenergy Association (WBA) is highlighting opportunities in the field of modern bioenergy by publishing a short series of science-based information fact sheets. The fourth fact sheet focuses on the importance of developing advanced biofuels.

“Biofuels for Transport,” touts increased production of conventional and advanced biofuels as a part of important policy goals that will improve fuel security, mitigate climate change, and support rural development, according to the WBA.

“Desired conditions in these areas cannot be achieved, if the development of biofuels is halted,” says WBA president Heinz Kopetz.

The WBA proposes that new and more holistic evaluation of conventional biofuels is required. An issue often overlooked is that biofuels based on sugar, starch or vegetable oil crops play an important role in global protein supply. In 2010 corn, cereals and rapeseed used for biofuels delivered not only 52.6 million tonnes of biofuels but also 55.9 million tonnes of protein feed.

While underlining the importance of existing biofuel systems, the WBA also calls for intensified efforts to achieve the market introduction of advanced biofuels based on cellulosic feedstocks. Advanced biofuels are vital for the future but commercial production units are yet to appear on the market. This only can happen if governments set up reliable and long-lasting framework condition for investors to offset the very significant capital costs for the first installation of the new technology systems.


Drawing upon the results of new studies, the WBA makes a clear case that there is enough land available to produce more food, more feed and more biofuels; and that biofuels are not the cause of global malnutrition problems. Increased support for the development of agriculture is required so that the world can produce more food and effectively integrate biofuel production in food supply chains.

The WBA also cautions biofuels stakeholders against over-reaction to the ILUC debate as it pertains to biofuels. “We see ILUC models as ‘blunt tools’ that fail to capture the complex interactions between land use, food, feed and energy demands that form the reality we live in,” stated the WBA.

The WBA argues that adoption of regional strategies to minimize emissions caused by land use change are a better choice than strict limitation of the demand for biofuels as is now discussed in Europe. This will only serve to hamper the on going and necessary technological development of biofuel systems, increase overall green house gas emissions and endanger the security of fuel supplies.

Click here to download the fact sheet.

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