Why biofuels?

By 2035, global energy consumption is expected to grow by 32%, and the demand for liquid fuels is forecast to increase by 18%, just over 15 million more barrels per day. The world’s population is expected to rise to 8.7 billion, meaning there will be 1.6 billion more people requiring energy.

These projections raise some fundamental questions. Are we able to meet the growing demand for energy? How can we confront climate change if we depend exclusively on fossil fuels to meet this increasing demand? 

This is where biofuels can help. Over the next two decades, biofuels should represent 20% (in energy) of the growth in transport fuels. 

BP is convinced that a significant increase in the use of biofuels, produced responsibly using carefully selected raw materials, will help to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases. 

A range of initiatives are being launched around the world. The European Union has committed to reducing its general emissions to a minimum of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. One of the ways it intends to meet this objective is by raising the percentage of renewable fuels, including biofuels, to 20% by 2020. The Unites States plan to increase biofuel consumption from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion in 2022 (1 gallon contains 3.7854 litres). 

Biofuels currently account for 2.5% of transport fuels. In 2035 this number is expected to increase to 4%. As well as increasing safety in energy supply and encouraging improvements and innovation within agriculture, we are convinced that this increase in biofuel consumption will lead to a reduction in the CO2 emissions associated with road transport.

A big step forward in Brazil

Can we really substitute fossil fuels for biofuels in our cars? It isn’t so simple, but Brazil took the lead when it diversified its energy sources in order to combat concerns about power supply security, investing in alternative energy sources such as hydroelectricity and biofuels. Today, 45% of its energy comes from renewable sources and approximately 90% of new passenger vehicles sold in Brazil contain flex-fuel engines, which work using any combination of gasoline and sugarcane ethanol. This has led to significant changes in the country’s CO2 emissions, with 600 million tons of CO2 being avoided since the 1970s. Source: the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA) 

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