US Biofuel Policies and Markets
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The United States has established various policies to support a transition to biofuels from fossil fuels as part of its strategy to achieve energy security and independence. These policies include mandates, tax credits, and import tariffs aimed at developing the nascent biofuel industry. To compare the impact of various energy sources requires a comprehensive understanding of both direct and indirect effects. This chapter discusses some of the indirect effects, including land use change, fuel rebound effect, and balance of trade effect. It finds that due to the ubiquity of energy, indirect effects impact numerous markets and that an already noncompetitive energy market that is capital intensive exacerbates the challenge of introducing biofuels. While first-generation biofuels contributed to rural development and reduced dependency on imported fuel sources, they have failed to reduce GHG emissions significantly. Introduction of advanced biofuels is challenged by the blend wall in the US and high costs, there is much opportunity for them to contribute significantly to energy security but also reducing GHG emissions.
KeywordsBalance of trade Benefit and costs Biofuels Energy security Greenhouse gases Policy Risk
This research was supported by USDA/NIFA grant number 267002.
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