IEA predicts growth in global biofuel supply through 2026

By Erin Voegele | April 18, 2022

The International Energy Agency in March released a report predicting that global biofuels supply will reach 3.3 million barrels per day by 2026, up from 2.6 million barrels per day in 2020. The forecast was included in the organization's Oil 2021 report, which includes analysis and forecasts through 2026.

Global ethanol production is set to grow by 33,000 barrels per day from 2020 to 2026 with China, India and Brazil responsible for most of that capacity growth. The production of biodiesel and hydrotreated vegetable oils (HVO) is expected to expand by 380,000 barrels per day over the same period, led primarily by capacity expansions in the U.S., Indonesia, and Malaysia.

The IEA predicts that U.S. ethanol production will not recover to 2019 pre-pandemic levels during the forecast period. "Assuming no policy changes and stable exports, production is 2026 will be [80,000 barrels per day] lower than in 2019 as domestic gasoline demand starts to decline,” the IEA said in the report. “By contrast, HVO production continues to grow strongly, supported by a number of policies that drive HVO investments, including the Renewable Fuel Standard, renewable identification numbers [RINs] prices, LCFS credits, and the biodiesel blender credit.”

In Brazil, the IEA predicts that recovery in gasoline demand and higher RenovaBio goals for decarbonization credits will underpin a rebound in ethanol production over the medium term. Brazilian corn ethanol production is expected to expand, with several new plants under development. The IEA expects Brazilian ethanol supply to average 660,000 barrels per day in 2026, up 35,000 barrels per day when compared to 2019.

China is expected to see the strongest growth in ethanol production, according to the IEA. The agency predicts production will reach 160,000 barrels per day by 2026, up from 70,000 barrels per day in 2020. Ethanol production is also expected to increase in India, reaching 70,000 barrels per day by 2026, up from 30,000 barrels per day in 2020.

In Indonesia, biodiesel production is expected to expand to 190,000 barrels per day in 2026, up from 140,000 barrels per day in 2020. Malaysian biodiesel production is expected to reach 40,000 barrels per day in 2026. In Europe, HVO and biodiesel production are expected to reach 320,000 barrels per day in 2026, up 40,000 barrels per day when compared to 2020.

A full copy of the report is available on the IEA website