The second edition study finds the biodiesel industry is entering four fundamental transitions: (a) from traditional soy/rapeseed/palm feedstocks to alternative, non-food feedstocks; (b) from commercial markets in developed countries to emerging markets in developing nations; (c) from first-generation plants to second-generation technologies; and (d) from first stage government policies to revised policies favoring sustainable fuels.
The Biodiesel 2020 study finds each of these industry transitions presents considerable growth opportunities and challenges for biodiesel producers, feedstock developers, and entrepreneurs.
"Biodiesel markets worldwide are entering a period of rapid transitional growth, creating both uncertainty and opportunity," said Biodiesel 2020 author Will Thurmond. "First-generation biodiesel markets in Europe and the United States have reached impressive biodiesel production capacity levels, but remain constrained by feedstock availability. In the BRIC nations of Brazil, India and China, recent government initiatives are spawning hundreds of new opportunities for feedstock development, biodiesel production and export.
"Biodiesel 2020 observes a fundamental transition in global transport fuels production. In the year 2007, there were only 20 oil-producing nations supplying the needs of over 200 nations. By the year 2010, more than 200 nations will become biodiesel producing nations and suppliers," said Thurmond.
"Biodiesel growth from non-food feedstocks is gaining traction around the world," said Thurmond. "For example, China recently set aside an area the size of England to produce jatropha and other non-food plants for biodiesel. India has up to 60 million hectares of non-arable land available to produce jatropha, and intends to replace 20 percent of diesel fuels with jatropha-based biodiesel. In Brazil and Africa, there are significant programs under way dedicated to producing non-food crops jatropha and castor for biodiesel."
For each of the emerging feedstock sectors, the Biodiesel 2020 study provides comprehensive analysis and in depth profiles of jatropha, tallow, used vegetable oil, yellow grease, and renewable diesel ventures. Algae-based biodiesel projects are also reviewed in detail, including a list of algae projects and detailed project profiles of leading commercial-grade algae ventures.
An increasing number of second-generation biodiesel projects are now emerging, and in response to increasing private sector market demands for improved process efficiencies and greater feedstock production yields.
Government policies and targets for biofuels are evolving and becoming increasingly complex. Second-generation biofuels from algae, renewable diesel, biomass to liquids and cellulosic diesel will play an increasingly important role in meeting ambitious production targets and sustainability criteria.
"Our research finds these fundamental transitions in the biodiesel industry will inevitably lead to a consolidation among smaller, first-generation producers from 2008 to 2010; accompanied by multiple mergers and acquisitions in the field," said Thurmond.
"Transitions in the biodiesel industry will create winners and losers in the near term. The Biodiesel 2020 study concludes biodiesel producers that are best able to adapt to transitions in feedstocks, government policies, markets, and technologies are most likely to succeed over the long term."
The 685-page "Biodiesel 2020: A Global Market Survey," second edition was published this month and is now available.
A prospectus of this study can be downloaded via Emerging Markets Online at www.emerging-markets.com/biodiesel.