Biotech Updates

FAO Publishes Report on Bioenergy Status of G8 and 5 other Countries

November 16, 2007

Bioenergy has received an enormous amount of attention in the past few years. Factors like the perpetual increase in fossil fuel prices, energy security, rural development and climate change drive the interest for the use of bioenergy. A new review released by the Global Bioenergy Partnership of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports the current state of bioenergy in G8 member nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and five other countries (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa). These countries account for 55 percent of the world’s population and 72 percent of the world's energy-related and industry carbon dioxide emission. Highlights of the report include:
  • Bioenergy provides about 10 percent of the world’s total primary energy supply.
  • Biomass demand has increased significantly over the last ten years.
  • China is the largest user of biomass as a source of energy, followed by India, the US and Brazil.
  • For developing countries, tariffs and other barriers are currently restricting bioenergy trade.
  • Not all biofuels are “green.” New schemes are under way to promote sustainability as well as link funding to sustainability.

Potential conflicts between bioenergy production and environmental protection, sustainable development, food security of the rural poor and the economic development of countries supplying feedstock were also discussed. It is expected that by 2030, 20 percent of the world’s energy requirement will be satisfied by bioenergy, rising to between 30 and 40 percent by 2060.

The complete report is available at