The United States is headed towards being the single largest biodiesel consumer in the world, accounting for about 19% of the market by 2012.
The production and consumption of biodiesel, having grown on average by more than 50% per year for the last five years, also saw triple-digit growth rates in 2006.
Germany currently holds top honors for biodiesel consumption, using 30% of the worlds market, but with the growing need for alternative fuels, and other countries coming on line, this is diminishing.
One thing needs to be kept in mind though, production costs of biodiesel are currently higher than those of conventional diesel, meaning that biodiesel is not currently competitive without political support and tax exemptions. As a consequence, the biodiesel industry is largely driven by government legislation and regulation.
With this being said, the biofuel movement may be becoming its own worst enemy. As more food acres are used to grow fuel and as more environment-damaging farming practices are used to keep up with the demand, the price of food rises. As the world food bank becomes more expensive, governments may be more likely to cut biofuel targets and less likely to offer tax incentives.
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Source & Image Credit: SRI Consulting