Motivated by growing concerns related to energy security, climate change, and economic stagnation, at least 38 national governments throughout the world have enacted blending mandates or targets to accelerate the expansion of biofuels production and consumption in the transportation sector. Biofuels hold significant potential to displace a portion of the demand for fossil fuels, especially in the transportation sector.

According to a new report from Pike Research, the increased production and consumption of biofuels will more than double the industry’s market value in the next decade. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the global market for biofuels will increase from $82.7 billion in 2011 to $185.3 billion by 2021.

“The widespread scale-up of biofuels could radically alter the industrial and geopolitical landscapes,” says senior analyst Mackinnon Lawrence, “by meeting an expanding portion of consumer demand in ground, aviation, and maritime fuel markets. But with conventional biofuels constrained by social and environmental concerns, and price parity and access to financing a persistent obstacle to advanced biofuels scale-up, a number of difficult challenges must be overcome if the industry is to keep pace with emerging mandates.”

Lawrence adds that while early success in Brazil, the United States, and the European Union demonstrate the commercial viability of conventional biofuels, the industry is entering a new era of feedstock versatility, product neutrality, and sustainability underpinned by the emergence of advanced conversion pathways and feedstocks. Pike Research’s analysis indicates that most industry players are confident that biofuels production and consumption will expand in developed and developing economies alike over the next decade. However, disproportionate feedstock access and utilization is expected to lead to increased global trade in biofuels, with countries like Brazil emerging as key suppliers for the world market.

Pike Research’s report, “Biofuels Markets and Technologies”, provides an in-depth analysis of global ethanol and biodiesel opportunities as well as an evaluation of key challenges facing the broader biofuels industry. The study includes a comprehensive examination of market drivers, including policy and regulatory developments as well as emerging mandates, feedstock and production economics, expanding demand in aviation and chemical markets, the commercial readiness of various pathways, and detailed profiles of key industry players across the entire biofuels value chain. Market forecasts extend through 2021 and include projections for mandated demand, production, feedstock utilization, and market value segmented across geography and fuel. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.