Biofuels - At What Cost? Government support for ethanol and biodiesel in the European Union

By Ronald Steenblik, Geraldine Kutas, Carina Lindberg, Ron Steenblik on October 5, 2007
The GSI report, "Biofuels at What Cost? Government Support for Ethanol and Biodiesel in the European Union", questions the rationale behind the very large sums of money being invested in support of this particular form of energy.

Subsidies and other forms of government support are strongly linked to the amount of biofuels that are produced and consumed in the EU. While current policies have been promoted as a way to decrease CO2 emissions, they are an expensive and ineffective means to achieving that goal. Transfers per tonne of CO2-equivalent removed are estimated to be between 575 and 800 euros for ethanol made from sugarbeat, around 215 euros for biodiesel made from used cooking oil, and over 600 euros for biodiesel made from rapeseed. Purchasing CO2-equivalent offsets on the European Cimate Exchange would be far cheaper.

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IISD, 2007