Agricultural trade

Bioenergy

 

High oil prices, tight energy markets and evidence about climate change are among the reasons for policy makers around the world to support the production and use of alternative, renewable energy sources. Agricultural commodities such as maize are now being used to produce biofuels, bioheat and biopower.

While this creates a huge additional outlet for farmers, it has begun to impact food markets. The contribution of bioenergy to energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has also been questioned.

OECD work on bioenergy

Bioenergy touches areas as diverse as scientific developments, environmental effects, energy balances and agricultural market economics. OECD has launched an interdisciplinary research program incorporating expertise from a number of other directorates of the Organisation, the International Energy Agency (IEA) and other institutions and researchers.

This program includes a comprehensive compilation of data and information on the issue, categorisation of the variety of support policies, and quantitative analysis of bioenergy policy measures. The analytical basis for the work is provided by the OECD’s agricultural world market model Aglink, which in recent years has been complemented with the FAO’s Cosimo model to represent developing countries in greater detail. The quantitative work enables analysis of the implications of current and alternative policy schemes on both bioenergy and agricultural markets.
                         

 

Video: Are biofuels as green as they seem?

Production of biodiesel, grain-based ethanol and other biofuels demands huge amounts of land and still causes sizeable greenhouse gas emissions, according to OECD and IEA experts.

 

Publications

OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook

The annual report of the OECD-FAO collaboration includes projections for the use of agricultural commodities in biofuel production, as well as an assessment of agricultural market prospects for production, consumption, trade, stocks and prices of featured commodities.

The Agricultural Outlook website also includes a database where you can access historical and forecast figures for biofuel trade, production and consumption.

  • Fertiliser and Biofuel Support Policies (August 2013)
    Fertilisers and biofuels are key upstream and downstream industries impacting agriculture. How do governments in OECD and major emerging economies support the production and use of fertilizers and biofuels? Consult data from a range of OECD countries and emerging economies.
  • A review of policy measures supporting bioenergy (July 2008)
    This study provides a review of policy measures in OECD and major non-OECD countries for supporting bioenergy. After presenting the objectives underlying this support and the targets that have been settled in many countries, the report presents the different types of measures currently implemented.
  • Biofuel Support Policies: An Economic Assessment (July 2008) 
    Government support of biofuel production in OECD countries is costly, has a limited impact on reducing greenhouse gases and improving energy security, and has a significant impact on world crop prices, according to a new study of policies to promote greater production and use of biofuel in OECD countries.
  • Policy Brief: Biofuels for Transport: Policies and Possibilities
    Bioenergy and biofuels are of growing public and private interest at a time of rapidly rising world energy demand and high oil prices. Amid concerns over climate change, they are also increasingly under the spotlight as a “cleaner” alternative to fossil fuels. But are biofuels for transport a viable alternative to power our cars, trucks and buses? Do they deliver the expected environmental benefits? And what role should public policy play in their development?
  • Agricultural market impacts of future growth in the production of biofuels. with Corringendum on Figure 4 and Table 2.1 (February 2006)
    The principal objective of the present study is to look at the economics of biofuel production and the likely impacts of an expected growth in biofuel-related demand for agricultural products on commodity markets. It describes the economics and policies in biofuel markets by bringing together available information on production technologies, costs and policy measures in major biofuel producing countries.

Also available: OECD Berlin Centre - Bioenergy (Deutsch)

 

 

 

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