by SUSAN MANN
The biofuels industry in Ontario will contribute $9.06 billion worth of economic activity to the province during the next 25 years.
The contribution of Ontario’s industry to the province’s economy is similar to what’s
occurring worldwide in the biofuels industry with a recently released report
commissioned by the Global Renewable Fuels Alliance showing the industry’s
tremendous impact on the global economy and positive future prospects for growth. The Ontario numbers were contained in a separate study the alliance hasn’t released.
Alliance spokesperson Bliss Baker says the global report, done in partnership with global economic research company Cardno Entrix, shows the biofuels industry is a bright spot in an otherwise very risky world economy right now.
The biofuels industry contributed $277.3 billion to the global economy in 2010, according to the report called ‘Contribution of Biofuels to the Global Economy.’ Biofuels production was 110 billion litres in 2010 and that supported nearly 1.4 million jobs in all sectors of the global economy.
Worldwide ethanol production has doubled since 2005 and increased three-fold in the last decade. By 2020, the global biofuel industry is forecasted to produce more than 196 billion litres and support more than 2.2 million jobs.
Similar to the worldwide figures, ethanol production in Canada and Ontario has doubled since 2005, Baker says.
During the past three to five years, Canada has shown great leadership in growing its industry significantly. Canada is “part of a leading group in the world in terms of developing this market,” he notes.
Baker says the alliance commissioned the study so it would have an idea of the global impact of the industry. There are many studies showing the industry’s contribution to the economies of individual countries, such as the United States or Brazil.
But previously there weren’t any studies done “globally on what the economic impact is,” he says. The study was done to demonstrate “we’re having a much larger impact globally than people realize,” Baker says.
The largest players in the global biofuels industry are the U.S., Brazil and the European Union, according to the study. But the most significant future growth in ethanol production will come from developing nations in Asia and Africa.
The alliance’s members represent more than 65 per cent of the global biofuels production from 44 countries. BF