IEA Transport Biofuels Roadmap Report 2011 Stresses Sustainability and International Cooperation

The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently announced the release of its report, "Technology Map: Biofuels for Transport". The roadmap identifies the primary tasks that are needed to globally accelerate the sustainable deployment of biofuels, and it also "discusses barriers and challenges to large-scale biofuel deployment, such as the need for commercialization of advanced biofuel technologies, relatively high production costs and supply chain logistics, as well as broader issues governing sustainable feedstock production and biofuel market structures".

Biofuels are reported to have the capability to provide up to 27% of world transportation fuel by 2050. However, technologies and policy actions must be identified in order to expand biofuels in a sustainable way. The IEA press release describes some highlights of the report as follows: (1) The Need for Efficient Technologies: "Further support for advanced biofuel research, development and demonstration is still needed to improve conversion efficiencies and reduce costs"; (2) The Importance of Sustainability: Governments should adopt mandatory sustainability standards for biofuels, and ensure that they are internationally aligned. Since many points of criticism on biofuels' sustainability are issues concerning the agricultural sector, biofuel policies should be aligned with those in agriculture, forestry and rural development; (3) The Need for International Collaboration: "To ensure developing countries can successfully adopt sustainable biofuel production, international collaboration on capacity building and technology transfer will be necessary; developing countries interested in introducing biofuels can profit from the experience of other regions, including lessons learned and best practices for biofuel production, as well as the government policies that can help ensure that required investments are beneficial for local economies".

The full report can be accessed at the IEA website (URL above).


This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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