Bioenergy in all its forms has been, and will continue to be, a part of the energy mix. Biofuels, as one form of bioenergy, can be an important component in the effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, as well as being a factor in achieving the 2°C climate goals. The actual energy mix and potential for sustainable biofuels development, however, depends on individual countries’ conditions and needs.
Most of the potential for growth in biomass production is in developing countries, particularly in tropical regions where the conditions are most favourable for producing feedstocks. In these regions developing countries have a significant opportunity to create both a domestic industry and engage in international trade.
Studies indicate that global bioenergy use is approximately 10 percent of the global energy mix, with a growth rate of 1.3 percent per year. Future projections for the supply of bioenergy are shown in the 2.3 figure. The analysis is based on four scenarios for environmental targets, based on technical potentials that differ depending on agricultural efficiency, production systems, water supplies.
The scenarios span a wide range of global bioenergy potentials, and experts argue that the high-end projections play down technical constraints such as available land or realistic yields. It seems the potential of bioenergy crops is at the lower end of the range and is associated with integrated optimisation. Researchers say that future capacities of bioenergy, and biofuels in particular, lie in residues from agriculture and forestry.
Figure 2.3 World bioenergy technical potential in 2050 11