What is the role and scope of biofuels in a world potentially awash in newfound oil & gas?
Since its inception, the bio-based economy — a multifaceted effort aimed at supplanting fossil fuels with biomass resources as the engine of the global economy — has been squarely focused on the issue of Peak Oil. Bio-based advocates have seized upon shortages of easy crude, associated high energy prices, and concerns around energy security as rhetorical sound bites to accelerate the production of biofuels and other bio-based products.
The significant economic potential of the bio-based economy also fuels scale-up aspirations. In its Future of Industrial Biorefineries report published in 2010, the World Economic Forum estimated that the biorefining sector can inject more than $230 billion into the global economy by 2020.