Ethanol will account for 14.2 billion gallons, increasing from 4.5 billion gallons in 2006, with the remaining 2.15 billion gallons in biodiesel. Ethanol will represent 9.4% of gasoline consumption, and biodiesel will equal approximately 4% of total estimated diesel consumption.
The report states that forecast production levels will affect not only use of agricultural resources, but will also likely alter the dynamics of international trade in certain commodities. For example, corn used for ethanol fuel production will come out of stocks now allocated to exports and animal feeds. Since the
Secondarily, corn is a major source of animal feed. Diverting corn toward ethanol production will potentially drive up the cost of meat and dairy products as well, and could result in lower livestock production.
At the same time, the increase in biodiesel production is expected to have a significant impact on importation of vegetable oils. The
Other key findings include:
- The biofuels capacity build out in the
will occur rapidly as refiners race to secure feedstocks and bring production facilities on line. U.S.
- The future viability of biofuels production hinges largely on high petroleum prices, favorable government policies and incentives, and the availability and affordability of corn and other feedstocks. If any of these factors should become less favorable, biofuels production could be cut significantly.
- Large scale biofuel production in the
will present a significant logistical challenge as already strained trucking and rail infrastructures will be the primary mode of transportation for biofuels and feedstocks. U.S.
- Although significant, the projected ramp-up of biofuels will not make the
energy independent. Liberation of the global economy from dependence on Middle Eastern oil will require technologies other than fuels based on food and feed inputs. Cellulosic ethanol, made from agricultural wastes and low maintenance crops such as switchgrass, may be part of a larger scale solution if technological challenges in its production can be met. U.S.