Global Renewable Fuels Alliance

Global Renewable Fuels Alliance

September 14, 2010 10:15 ET

GRFA Challenges World Energy Leaders to End Dependency on Oil

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2010) - Speaking to a gathering of world energy leaders today at the World Energy Congress (WEC), The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) President, Bliss Baker called on energy industry leaders to double investment in advanced biofuels technologies to ensure rapid commercialization and help end the world's crippling dependency on oil.

In a speech at the Future Energy Leaders session, Mr. Baker challenged world energy leaders to adopt the GRFA's plan that would expand mandates for ethanol and biodiesel, create a more positive investment climate for biofuels and encourage the expansion of biofuel use throughout the developing world.  

According to the International Energy Agency, energy demand will almost double by 2050 to 57 Gigatonnes and fossil fuels will continue to be the primary source of energy unless we change course.

"With growing energy demand and declining fossil fuel reserves there is a tremendous opportunity for biofuels to help reduce our dangerous reliance on crude oil," explained Mr. Baker. "However, if we do not take decisive action today we will not be able to take full advantage of these opportunities".

"No one wants a repeat of the energy shock we witnessed in 2008. If we are serious about preventing that from happening we must change course," said Mr. Baker. "Without decisive action and investments today, by both industry and Governments, we will continue to see rising energy prices that will have a devastating impact on our economy and way of life," concluded Baker. 

The GRFA is calling on Governments and Industry to do the following:

  • Expand mandated market access for biofuels
  • Create Advanced Biofuels Investment Funds to accelerate the commercialization of next generation biofuels 
  • Use policy instruments to ensure technology transfer to developing countries so they can take full advantage of the many benefits that a biofuels industry would deliver.

"A number of Governments have found that mandating biofuels content in gasoline has ensured that consumers have access to these alternative fuels, said Mr. Baker. "However, the job isn't done yet. We need to build on those successes and expand mandates to ensure that biofuels production has an even greater impact on reducing our reliance on crude oil."

While the biofuels industry struggles to find the necessary capital to expand production and commercialize new next generation technologies, governments continue to subsidize oil production. "Governments must move away from the practice of subsidizing oil extraction and move towards creating the capital pools that will ensure the commercialization of next generation biofuels technologies", Mr. Baker said. "The GRFA is calling on Governments to eliminate all subsidies to big oil. Last year alone, Government subsidies for oil totaled more than $500 billion globally.

"There is tremendous untapped potential for biofuels in the developing world. One of the most promising opportunities that biofuels presents is in southern Africa where there is an abundance of biomass," explained Mr. Baker. "Developing a biofuels industry in many of these countries would provide new income for farmers, encourage investment in the agricultural sector, and reduce their reliance on imported crude oil," added Mr. Baker.

The World Energy Congress gathers every three years to "promote the sustainable supply and use of energy for the greatest benefit of all people."

This year's gathering will take place September 13-16, 2010 in Montreal Canada. It brings together more than 3,500 top world leaders in the field of energy, coming from industry, governments, and international organizations, as well as the media, universities and energy industry associations.

The Global Renewable Fuels Alliance (GRFA) is an international federation representing more than 65 per cent of the world's renewable fuels production from 30 countries. Through the development of new technology and best practices, its members are committed to producing renewable fuels with the smallest possible ecological footprint. The GRFA promotes the expanded use of ethanol and biodiesel throughout the world; advocating for sound public policy and responsible research to help meet the world's energy, environmental and economic challenges.

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