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Opportunities and barriers for international bioenergy trade

  • Junginger, Martin
  • van Dam, Jinke
  • Zarrilli, Simonetta
  • Ali Mohamed, Fatin
  • Marchal, Didier
  • Faaij, Andre
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    Recently, the international trade of various bioenergy commodities has grown rapidly, yet this growth is also hampered by some barriers. The aim of this paper is to obtain an overview of what market actors currently perceive as major opportunities and barriers for the development of international bioenergy trade. The work focuses on three bioenergy commodities: bioethanol, biodiesel and wood pellets. Data were collected through an internet-based questionnaire. The majority of the 141 respondents had an industrial background. Geographically, two-thirds were from (mainly Western) Europe, with other minor contributions from all other continents. Results show that import tariffs and the implementation of sustainability certification systems are perceived as (potentially) major barriers for the trade of bioethanol and biodiesel, while logistics are seen mainly as an obstacle for wood pellets. Development of technical standards was deemed more as an opportunity than a barrier for all commodities. Most important drivers were high fossil fuel prices and climate change mitigation policies. Concluding, to overcome some of the barriers, specific actions will be required by market parties and policy makers. Import tariffs for biofuels could be reduced or abolished, linked to multinational trade agreements and harmonization (including provisions on technical standards and sustainability requirements).

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (April)
    Pages: 2028-2042

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:2028-2042
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    1. van Dam, J. & Junginger, M. & Faaij, A.P.C., 2010. "From the global efforts on certification of bioenergy towards an integrated approach based on sustainable land use planning," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 14(9), pages 2445-2472, December.
    2. Ronald Steenblik, 2007. "Subsidies: The Distorted Economics of Biofuels," OECD/ITF Joint Transport Research Centre Discussion Papers 2007/3, OECD Publishing.
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