Subsidies to Liquid Transport Fuels: A comparative review of estimates

By Peter Wooders, Chris Charles on September 15, 2011

This 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.

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. While the literature on energy subsidies is considerable and growing, only a few organizations attempt to quantify the level of these subsidies. 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.


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IISD, 2011