Emerging liquid biofuel markets ¿A dónde va la Argentina?
Abstract: High oil prices, news about limited oil resources and the increasing demand from fast growing economies like India and China have fuelled the global discussion for a security of energy supply, as well as a diversification and decentralisation of energy sources. At current oil prices, liquid biofuels become a cost-competitive alternative to traditional transport fuels. This option seems to be of special interest to developing countries with favourable climatic and environmental conditions for plant growth and low production costs for bioenergy crops. Not only the satisfaction of domestic demand, hence a security of energy supply, but also to take part in an international trade with liquid biofuels is interesting for these countries to ensure their development. If quality and labour standards are put in place, liquid biofuel trade offers developing countries and especially their rural areas heavily needed economic incentives and a possibility for development and poverty reduction. Argentina is one of the countries currently looking into the option of liquid biofuel production. An investigation of the current emerging market setting for biodiesel and bioethanol has lead to the conclusion that a biodiesel production for international supply is likely to emerge in the short-run (up to 2010) and could also be switched-back to local supply in the medium-run (post 2010). A bioethanol market (demand and supply) does neither seem to be likely in the short- nor in the medium-run as the most influential actors seem to oppose its development. The current constellations of the emerging biodiesel market appear to leave many uncertainties regarding its sustainability, especially in regards to a limited role of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and a suitable and diversified biodiesel feedstock. Currently, the focus lies solely on big scale production of biodiesel derived from soybean oil.
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