Biofuels production, driven by the potential to contribute to energy security, climate change mitigation and rural development, has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Several countries have initiated policies to support biofuel development, production and use in the transportation sector. However, there are growing concerns about the economic, environmental and social sustainability of biofuels, as well as about their ability to actually meet the energy security expectations.
In response to these concerns, as well as the potential impact on oil markets of successes, failures or disappointments likely to be encountered along the biofuel development path, a review and assessment study was commissioned by the International Energy Forum (IEF) Secretariat. The aim of the study was to assess, based on a review of documents provided to the authors by the IEF Secretariat, the extent to which biofuels could contribute seriously and consistently to meeting a substantial portion of future demand in the transportation sector, and to bring some answers to the multitude of questions that have arisen about the viability and sustainability of the various types of biofuels currently in production or under development. Additionally, the study would, where feasible, point out any remaining uncertainties or open questions.