February 02, 2010 09:08 ET

New Report Analyzes Future of Next Generation Biofuels

ROCKVILLE, MD--(Marketwire - February 2, 2010) - has announced the addition of Business Insights' new report, "Next Generation Biofuels: Market drivers, growth opportunities and regulatory change," to their collection of Alternative Energy market reports. For more information, visit

Over 80% of the world's primary energy supply is currently derived from coal, gas and oil (collectively known as 'fossil fuels'), which are used to generate electricity, power, energy and heat for industrial, commercial, domestic and transportation purposes. The world's dependence on crude oil for transportation is particularly marked, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimating that fuels from crude oil currently supply about 96% of the worldwide energy demand for transport purposes. As the world's population grows and developing countries look to expand their economies, this insatiable demand for fossil fuels is unlikely to show any sign of easing, with oil and gas accounting for 60% of the world's increasing energy demand between now and 2030. Furthermore, with most significant reserves of fossil fuels unevenly distributed throughout the world, energy security is set to become an increasingly critical economic and political issue over the coming decades. Real or perceived disruptions to the global supply of fossil fuels -- notably crude oil -- are likely to grow in frequency and cause wild fluctuations in the price of energy, as they have done so in the past. However, one of the most pressing reasons for seeking alternative sources of energy and fuel lies in the form of climate change. The combustion of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide (CO2), a potent 'greenhouse gas' (GHG), which is considered to be responsible for 'global warming.' According to the IEA, if no changes are made to the world's existing energy economy, related emissions of CO2 will grow marginally faster than energy use, meaning that by 2030 global CO2 emissions will be more than 50% higher than today. Over two-thirds of that projected increase in emissions is expected to come from emerging economies, such as India, China -- both of which are set to rely heavily on coal-based power stations to drive their rapidly developing economies. The combination of biomass and biofuels accounted for around 26% of the world's total renewable energy production in 2008. Second generation biofuels have been developed due to limitations of first generation biofuels, primarily that the resources used threaten food supplies. Second generation biofuels production processes include a variety of non-food crops such as waste biomass, the stalks of wheat, corn, wood and miscanthus. Second generation biofuels use biomass to liquid technology, such as cellulosic biofuels from non-food crops. 'Third generation biofuel' primarily references fuel derived from algae. Algae fuel is not yet commercially available or viable due to cost constraints, but through various laboratory experiments promising results have been obtained. In 2008, the US Department of Energy noted that algae can produce 30 times more energy per acre than land crops such as soybeans.

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