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U.S. Leads Ranking of Top 25 Countries for Global Biofuels Production Capacity

The U.S. concluded 2010 as the top renewable ethanol producing country, according to the Global Biofuels Outlook to 2020, recently released from Hart Energy Consulting’s Global Biofuels Center (GBC). With more than 51 billion liters (13.47 billion gallons) of ethanol production capacity in operation, the U.S. is by far the leader, with South America’s largest nation, Brazil, following with nearly 27 billion liters (7.1 billion gallons). When combined, these two countries represent 82% of ethanol production capacity in operation worldwide. China ranks a distant third at more than 2.7 billion liters (713 million gallons). The ranking continues with France in fourth place. Canada rounds out the top five.

“In 2009, the U.S. ethanol industry had a total of 170 operating plants. We at GBC track all plants – existing, planned, and proposed – not only in the U.S. but in 75 countries around the world. Our analysis concludes that by the close of 2010, that number rose to a total of 187 operating plants. Many producers rushed to complete projects that had been under construction in advance of EPA’s deadline to ‘grandfather’ plants under RFS2,” explains Michael Marshall, lead research analyst for GBC, and primary author of the report.

The U.S. tops the global biodiesel list as well, as the country with the most capacity currently in operation at 5.9 billion liters (1.56 billion gallons). Germany follows at just over 5 billion liters (1.3 billion gallons). The ranking continues with Spain at 5 billion liters (1.32 billion gallons) followed by Indonesia. While positioned to grow dramatically in 2011 and 2012, Brazil completes the top five with capacity equaling 70% of 2010 U.S. production capacity. “It should be noted that only 10% of existing biodiesel capacity in the U.S. is currently producing,” adds Tammy Klein, assistant vice president at Hart Energy Consulting. “The primary reason behind the 10% utilization rate has been high feedstock prices and the federal biodiesel tax credit was not renewed until Dec. 17, 2010.”

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