Global News Summary
GLOBAL Biofuels will account for 63% of oil supply growth from non-OPEC count...
GLOBAL OPEC could schedule an emergency meeting before its next policy-settin...
GLOBAL The World Bank president said response to high prices could bring food...
GLOBAL High oil prices and an array of government incentives are leading to s...
GLOBAL The managing director and head of global economic research at Goldman ...
NORTH AMERICA The USDA’s chief economist Joseph Glauber told Congress Thursda...
GLOBAL In a new report on biofuels, Merrill Lynch is upbeat, saying biofuels ...
GLOBAL Biofuels are critical to meeting current and future fuel demand despit...
GLOBAL The International Energy Forum meeting in Rome said in a closing state...
GLOBAL Petroleum surged to record highs near $120 a barrel on Tuesday on a we...
Biofuels will account for 63% of oil supply growth from non-OPEC countries this year, taking global production of crop-based fuel to more than 1.5 million barrels a day, the International Energy Agency said in a monthly report. Biofuels output will grow by 425,000 barrels a day this year, a 57% increase from a year ago. Total non-OPEC supply growth this year is expected to average 680,000 barrels a day, compared with 550,000 barrels a day last year.
A world oil price of $100 or more per barrel will mean strong demand for less expensive biofuels and improvements in biofuel manufacturing technology, the founder of venture capital firm Khosla Ventures told Reuters at the World Economic Forum in Davos. In less than five years and possibly in three, “we will prove that biofuels are as adequate as oil”, he said.
According to the International Energy Agency, an additional 1 million barrels of crude oil will have to be processed per day to replace the global supply of ethanol and biodiesel that have been added to the USA and European markets since 2005.
The US House approved legislation suspending delivery to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) while oil remains above $75/bbl. President Bush remains against stopping SPR deliveries as any temporary suspension would not impact gasoline prices.
In Minnesota, Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a bill that will increase the current 2% biodiesel mandate to 20% by 2015. According to the legislation, the current 2% biodiesel mandate will increase to 5% on May 1, 2009; to 10% on May 1, 2012; and to 20% on May 1, 2015. However, there is an approval process before moving to higher blends to allow the legislature, biodiesel producers and other stakeholders to gauge supply and demand impacts before moving to a higher blend.
In Iowa, Governor Chet Culver signed legislation that would expand the state's renewable fuels program to allow for greater funding opportunities. Additional funding will benefit blender pumps, retailers who have E85 and biodiesel at the same location, terminal increases from $50,000 to $100,000, state and local government fleets, and a statewide renewable fuels marketing plan for flex fuel vehicles.
In Wichita, Kansas thieves are stealing leftover cooking oil from restaurants which is otherwise sold to contracted biodiesel producers. Ben Healy, president of Healy Biodiesel who buys used cooking oil for biodiesel, recently reported theft of thousands of gallons of cooking oil from restaurants in Wichita.
DuPont has formed a joint venture with Danish company, Genencor to develop and commercialize cellulosic ethanol under the name DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol LLC. They plan an initial three-year investment of $140 million in the US-based venture, expecting the first pilot plant to be operational in 2009, and its first commercial-scale demonstration facility to be operational within the next three years. The companies have not announced where the plant will be located.
US fuel-grade ethanol imports got tighter toward the end of the first quarter with Brazil still out of the US market and fewer Caribbean and Central American sources sending material to the states. Ethanol imports in March were about 10.6 million gallons, according to the Energy Information Administration, which was down 47% from the volume of ethanol EIA reported coming into the country the previous month, and 64% less than the same time last year.
The Journal, Newcastle, UK reports that growers could plant 5-10% more rapeseed next season as food demand for vegetable oils continues to buoy prices. The EU looks set to remain a net importer of rapeseed and vegetable oils next season.
London-based GSM Association is developing plans to use biofuel and solar power to expand mobile phone coverage to developing countries. The renewable energy would be used instead of diesel to power the base stations’ electricity generators in remote locations. High costs of fuel have been preventing the development of mobile phone coverage, but using renewable sources would also provide income to the base stations’ local economies.
ASIA / PACIFIC
In India, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), backed by the United Nations to encourage non-food crops for biodiesel, is working on a sweet sorghum program for the Philippines, China, and India. Rural farmers will use the grain from the plant to feed themselves and their livestock, while selling the fuel-producing sugary liquid contained in the stalks to biofuel producers.
China has ordered companies operating coal mines, chemical plants, and oil and natural gas wells to immediately halt production in regions hit by a devastating earthquake Monday that killed at least 12,000 people and has left tens of thousands still unaccounted for.
Jatoil Ltd. has completed an agreement with GreenEnergy Biofuels to produce jatropha in Vietnam, Australian Business News reports. The new joint venture company in Vietnam, Green Energy Joint Stock Company, will take over all of GreenEnergy Biofuels's regional activities.
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