Global Perspective on Production of Biotechnology-based Bioenergy and Major Trends

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Oct 22, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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Global Perspective on Production of Biotechnology
-
based

Bioenergy and Major Trends


Simonetta Zarrilli

United Nations Conference on

Trade and Development
-

UNCTAD



Rome, 12 October 2007



Why Bioenergy?


Economic growth and increasing population will
lead to 1.6% p.a. increase in global energy demand
between 2006 and 2030 (IEA, 2006)


Increasing
fossil fuels cost
,
energy security

concerns and
climate change

preoccupations have
motivated countries to explore alternative energy
sources, including bioenergy


energy produced
through the processing of biomass (any derived
organic matter available on a renewable basis): e.g.
biogas, bioethanol, biodiesel


Concerns about high fossil fuels prices and energy
security and efforts towards climate change mitigation
are expected to feature highly in the international
agenda in the years to come. This will keep interest for
bioenergy high


Bioenergy perspective by 2050


Bioenergy may satisfy 1/3 of the world’s
future energy needs


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Represents 1
-
3 trillion US$ market value
worldwide


Involves some 10% of the world land
surface (
Copernicus Institute for Sustainable
Development and Innovation Management)

Biofuel Classification

First Generation (from sugars, grains, or seeds)


Biodiesel


rapeseed, soybeans, sunflowers, jatropha, coconut, palm, recycled cooking
oil


Ethanol


From grains or seeds: corn, wheat, potato


From sugar crops: sugar beets, sugarcane

Second Generation (from lignocellulose: crop residues, grasses,
woody crops)


Biological fuels


Ethanol via enzymatic hydrolysis


Thermochemical fuels (most made via “gasification”)


Fischer
-
Tropsch liquids (FTL)


Methanol, MTBE, gasoline


Dimethyl ether (DME)


Mixed alcohols


Green diesel

First Generation Biofuels


Use of sugar or starch crops creates limitations:


Competition for food uses


Plants optimized for food, not energy


Only part of the plant is converted to biofuel


Co
-
product sales often important for acceptable
economics


Only modest energy and GHG benefits, except
with sugarcane ethanol (due to greater utilization
of the above
-
ground biomass)


Can blend with existing petroleum
-
derived motor
fuels


minimal infrastructure change


Large
-
scale experience in Brazil and USA


Relatively high costs (except sugarcane ethanol in
Brazil) due to high feedstock cost


Cost penalties less severe at smaller scales


Second Generation Biofuels


Made from lignocellulosic materials


Biomass that is generally not edible


Larger fraction of the plant is converted to fuel


Plants can be bred for energy characteristics (high yield, low
inputs)


Two generic processing routes: biological or thermochemical


Can blend with petroleum fuels in most cases


Substantial energy/environment benefits compared with
most 1
st

generation biofuels due primarily to greater biomass
usability per unit land area


Greater capital
-
intensity than 1
st

generation biofuels, but
lower feedstock costs


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捯獴
-
獣慬攠獥湳楴楶楴y




larger scale facilities needed for optimum economics



The role of biotechnology

Biotechnology is not a source of energy, but a scientific
method that provides tools to produce energy



Biotechnology permits the


modification/selection of


plants to enhance their


conversion to fuels


Biotechnology can be used


for yield increase, better


biomass quality, disease


resistance

Biotechnology can be used to

facilitate the manufacturing

process (f
rom biomass to

biofuels)


Concerns related to

environment/biodiversity

protection

More acceptable for

consumers

The International Trade Dimension


Biomass & biofuel trade has been limited in the past as
most of the production has been for domestic
consumption


Several countries will not be in a position to produce
enough biofuels to satisfy their demand; some
countries/regions are endowed with conditions which
allow them to produce biofuels and feedstock
competitively



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escalate rapidly to satisfy increasing worldwide
demand

concerns about the sustainability of

biofuels development

Flows of ethanol in 2000 (thousand tons)

Total trade of ethanol: 3 billion liters (2004)

Total production of ethanol: 51 billion liters (2006)

Flows of ethanol in 2004 (thousand tons)

Biofuels Certification Initiatives


National governments and regional groupings: Belgium, the
Netherlands, UK, Brazil, Canada, Germany, US
-
California,
European Commission


Companies: e.g. Electrabel, Essent


NGOs: e.g. WWF


International Bodies and Initiatives


International Networks and Roundtables: e.g. RSPO, RSP
-
EPFL


What for?

Ensuring that biofuels/biomass production contribute to climate

change mitigation, improved energy security and rural development,

without having detrimental side
-
effects on food security, land use,

environmental protection, labour conditions, etc.

Specific concerns related to biotechnology


Several certification systems do not allow the use of GMOs. These
are for example FSC for forest and all certification systems for
ecological agriculture


EurepGAP certification program: (i) Planting of any GMO must
comply with all existing regulations in the countries of production
and consumption (ii) The use of GMO cultivars must be agreed
with individual customers prior to planting; (iii) Suppliers must
inform all customers of any developments relating to the use of
products derived from genetic modification before engagement


Cramer report: no indicator has been included for GMOs. The
views with regard to GMOs are divided and the discussion about
this lies beyond the field of activity of the project group


Why is certification important
?


Market access and market acceptability


Only certified biofuels may count
towards biofuel blending targets


Only certified biofuels may benefit from
tax breaks and other incentives

WTO Implications


The “Like products” issue


“Less favourable treatment” (
EC
-
Biotech

case)


The role of non
-
WTO law (Cartagena
Protocol)


« Grey area »


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Development Implications


Bionergy is a development opportunity for
developing countries, especially if appropriate
policies are put in place; “second” generation
technologies may alleviate some of the present
shortcomings


Access and adaptation to technology


Developing country involvement in
sustainability certification for biofuels/biomass


THANK YOU

Simonetta.Zarrilli@unctad.org


www.unctad.org/biofuels