Global use of biofuels should more than double by 2015, with U.S. biofuel use expected to grow by more than 35 percent
, according to a report by Hart's Global Biofuels Center. This growth projection is optimistic considering key issues such as land use and competition for feedstocks supplies.

According to the outlook, Hart's predicts Brazil to grow domestic supplies by 30 percent and more than double export volume of biofuels. In addition, Indonesia and Malaysia are expected to see double production of palm oil biodiesel, while Germany will remain the largest producer of biofuels in Europe.

Countries that are expected to be new on the biofuels scene between 2009 and 2015 include Indonesia, France, China, India, Thailand, Colombia, Malaysia, Philippines and Argentina. The most prominent biofuels will be first generation ethanol, palm oil biodiesel and rapeseed biodiesel from Europe.

Despite these expected advances, the forecasts for commercial growth in the production and use of these fuels will be below expectations, Hart's says. According to Hart's recently released Global Biofuels Outlook to 2015, of the approximately 170 next-generation biofuels projects around the world that are in some stage of development, only 30 percent of those are actually expected to be operating during the study timeframe.

"Be it cellulosic ethanol, renewable diesel, biomass-to-liquids (BTL) or Fischer Tropsch liquids, made from feedstocks such as agricultural or municipal solid wastes, grasses, woods, waste paper and algae, next-generation biofuels are still largely under research and development," said Tammy Klein, executive director of the Global Biofuels Center and the study leader.

The study also finds that particularly in the U.S., mandates set that require next generation biofuels will not be met.

In addition, by 2015 global demand for ethanol will represent 12 to 14 percent of the global gasoline pool, and Asia-Pacific ethanol production will grow, representing as much as 20 percent of global ethanol production by 2015.

The Global Biofuels Outlook captures the current and near-term biofuels picture in 35 countries in the five key regions of the globe. The study reviews local and global drivers, public and fiscal policy developments, current and projected production capacity, and supply and demand projections for 2009, 2010 and 2015.

More info: