Population growth and improvements in purchasing power in several economic areas of the world are contributing to greater consumption of fossil energy and higher volatility in energy prices. At the same time, concerns in the face of the “climate change” are an incentive to reduce use in order to contribute to cutting greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of anthropic origin. Both these trends have stimulated research in “greener” or “renewable” alternative energy sources, such as the wind, sun or biomass, over the last decade. Biofuels are one of these alternatives to fossil energies. With this in mind, the majority of developed or emerging countries have introduced support policies for the production and use of biofuels. In many countries, these policies also aim to support agricultural activity and promote rural development. This review based on economic analyses from the INRA-SAE2 department and competent bodies (ADEME, French Agency for the Energy Development and Control), the International Agency for Energy, FAO, IFPRI, OECD and so on, draws up an assessment of the biofuel sector on a worldwide scale, showing its implications in energy and environmental terms. It also takes an interest in the support measures granted by the public authorities in favour of this sector and analyses its implications in terms of global food safety.


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