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Long-term projections of liquid biofuels in China: Uncertainties and potential benefits

Zhao, Lili, Chang, Shiyan, Wang, Hailin, Zhang, Xiliang, Ou, Xunmin, Wang, Baiyu, Wu, Maorong
Energy 2015 v.83 pp. 37-54
biofuels, biomass, carbon dioxide, carbon markets, energy, excise tax, feedstocks, greenhouse gas emissions, issues and policy, liquids, oils, petroleum, prices, subsidies, uncertainty, China
Scenario-based analysis is conducted on the long-term projections of liquid biofuels in China for transport fuels. The key influencing factors during each period are assessed. Driven by the transport energy demand growth, increasing price of crude oil and technological progress, liquid biofuels are expected to develop rapidly in the medium and long term. Meanwhile, it is projected that the utilization of liquid biofuels will be full of uncertainties, with wide range of 45 Million ton of oil equivalent (Mtoe) to 120 Mtoe by 2050. At different times, critical factors significantly differ. In the long term (2030–2050), the development of liquid biofuels is highly dependent on the availability of biomass resources. In the medium term (2020–2030), biomass availability and feedstock price are critical. In the near term (current–2020), the feedstock price of 1.5 generation liquid biofuels is critical. In 2050, the utilization of liquid biofuels can reduce 1–7% of overseas oil dependence ratio, 100–370 million tons of CO2 emission. Market-based instruments, i.e., carbon pricing policy and excise tax preferences, can stimulate the medium- and long-term development of biofuels. However, in the near-term, subsidies are highly necessary.