Article Series: Biofuel Subsidies

Subsidies to Different Energy Types: Fossil Fuels, Renewables, Nuclear and Biofuels

These studies review knowledge to date on the scale of subsidies to electric power and to transport.

Subsidies and External Costs in Electric Power Generation: A comparative review of estimates

The extent to which governments subsidize electricity generation technologies is not generally clear. However, claims abound that each generation type—nuclear, fossil fuel and renewables - benefits to the detriment of others. While the literature on energy subsidies is considerable and growing, only a fraction of this focuses on electricity generation, and only a small subset attempts to quantify subsidies. This paper reviews the information currently available for each fuel type, identifies the major gaps in the literature and makes a preliminary comparison of results. The review highlights the paucity of consistent information and data on subsidies to electricity generation. It also highlights the limitations of global estimates, concluding that robust national estimates are necessary to proceed with further evaluation.

Subsidies to Liquid Transport Fuels: A comparative review of estimates

The extent to which governments subsidize biofuels and conventional transport fuels is not generally clear. The use of biofuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, is seen as a renewable substitute for fossil-based fuels such as petrol and diesel. This paper reviews the information currently available for each fuel type, the main methods used to quantify subsidies, identifies the major gaps in the literature and makes a preliminary comparison of results. The review highlights the paucity of consistent information and data on subsidies to biofuels and conventional transport fuels. It also highlights the limitations of global estimates for subsidies, concluding that robust national estimates are necessary to proceed with further evaluation of subsidies.