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Hart Energy: US leading global exporter of ethanol

1 May 2012

The United States now leads Brazil in the export of ethanol, according to Hart Energy’s newly released study, US & Brazil Ethanol Outlook to 2022.

The study also dismisses the notion that goals of two programs in the US can be achieved. Biofuels volumes required by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) do not match with the realities of commercialization and availability, Hart Energy maintains, and changes in these policies will be necessary in the next few years.

Much of the focus has been on the ‘blend wall,’ biodiesel, and cellulosic biofuels targets of the RFS program in the public forum. But what’s so striking to us is that Brazilian ethanol is needed to meet targets under those programs—and our forecast shows it will not be available at critical points in the study period. Brazilian ethanol will also be in high demand in other parts of the world, especially Europe, and will be a key part of the strategy for increasing octane and meeting renewable targets globally.

—Tammy Klein, assistant vice president of Hart Energy

The study examines the public policies, market developments, and economics of the ethanol industry in the two countries which produce 80% of the world’s supply. The Outlook contends renewable fuel mandates in the U.S. will also create opportunities for increased production of corn-based ethanol and biodiesel.

Hart Energy projects Brazilian ethanol exports will see wide fluctuations and only return to their 2008 peak in 2019. A combination of factors hinders the Brazil, including insufficient investment in its sugarcane sector which has contributed to below-average recent harvests. Attractive world sugar prices will, at times, draw a significant portion of the country’s harvest away from ethanol production.

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Comments

The Emperor has no clothes; Canute cannot order the tide not to come in, and Elizabeth II and CARB should each hire someone who can add, subtract, multiply, divide and understand fractions and percents, who will show the calculations that neither California or the UK can supply their mandated biofuels from within their own borders and neither can the world cut down on CO2 release substantially with biofuels. There are still people in the world who can add etc. who have good figures that show that biofuels can increase the CO2 release.

The ideas behind English Corn Laws may have to be examined again in the food fuel debate.

Exporting bio-ethanol fuel to foreign countries should be made a crime similar to making FREON. Ethanol itself is a food, but Maize is a better food because it has radioactive potassium in it. Petroleum derived ethanol does not have much, if any, radioactive carbon in it in contrast to bio-ethanol.

Growing permanent trees to absorb CO2 is a more efficient use of money than maize ethanol in reducing CO2 build up even if US government production efficiency is correct. Cogeneration is the fastest most cost effective way if natural gas is available.

Every new automobile engine should be built to burn methanol, ethanol or petrol or any mix of the three unless it is diesel in which case it should also be able to burn some methanol with the diesel or burn DME or propane with diesel. This is in addition to the use of permanent or temporary CNG tanks in the vehicle. ..HG..

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