James Primrose, BP Biofuels

There are a range of factors that impact on the effectiveness of different fuel use in transport, with liquid fuels generally being preferred in respect to their energy density by volume and mass. If done well, biofuels have the potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions compared to gasoline, with savings ranging from around 50% to over 70% for ethanol from wheat, sugar cane and cellulose. The litres of biofuel that can be obtained on a per hectare basis vary between the feedstock used, the area it is grown, and the process used (bioethanol, biodiesel and advance biofuels). Biofuelled vehicles can make significant contributions to decarbonising transport, even compared to electric vehicles, including through fuel blends for conventional, advance, mid hybrid and full hybrid vehicles. Work on Life Cycle Analysis suggests that whilst hybrid and electric vehicles deliver lower GHG emissions, their embedded emissions can be significant, with battery reliability being a key factor. Based on the BP Energy Outlook 2030, the demand for liquid fuels is expected to increase in non-OECD countries and this will be met through supply growth from OPEC as well as from biofuels. It is suggested that there is sufficient suitable land available for biofuels if it is used wisely, with a potential to produce 30-40 MMboe/d to meet a projected demand for transport fuel of 45.5 MMboe/d by 2030.

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