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IEA backs advanced biofuels subsidies

26 Apr 2012, 4.13 pm GMT

London, 26 April (Argus) — Governments need to massively boost their support for biofuels producers in order to keep emissions reductions goals on track, the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its latest progress report on clean energy development.

Global biofuels output rose nearly tenfold between 2000 and 2010, but growth has slowed in recent years because of high feedstock prices, overcapacity, changing government policies and increased awareness of sustainability issues, the IEA said. Total biofuels production needs to double and advanced biofuels production quadruple by 2020 to meet stated climate change goals, the IEA said.

“The development of advanced biofuels needs to be accelerated, primarily through dedicated government support for research and development and, in particular, sound backing for the initial commercial production units,” the IEA said.

The agency backs direct government financing or loan guarantees for firms developing second-generation biofuels technologies until 2020, as well as the development of premium pricing schemes for second-generation biofuels, similar to the feed-in tariffs used to support development of renewable electricity generation.

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