The global biofuels market: energy security, trade and development

Particularly after the sharp rise in oil prices in 2008, but throughout the 2000s, there was an unprecedented increase in public and private interest in diversifying energy sources. Reasons for this included volatility in prices of petroleum products, the finite nature of fossil fuels (peak oil scenarios) and ever growing environmental concerns, especially related to greenhouse gas emissions. There was also an emphasis placed on novel ways to add value to agriculture and to promote growth poles which could deliver green jobs in non-carbon intensive sectors of the economy. These factors energized interest in renewable energy sources, including biofuels. In 2006, just prior to the climax of the energy crisis with very high oil prices, the biofuels market was only starting to become truly international. By the beginning of 2014, bioethanol and biodiesel had become established products, traded daily and globally.