Report Predicts Job Growth in Biofuels Sector

The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) on Feb. 25 welcomed the release of a new report by Bio Economic Research Associates (bio-era™), "U.S. Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production: Perspectives to 2030," which analyzes how growth of an advanced biofuels industry will impact four areas critical to U.S. economic recovery, including job creation, economic output, energy security, and investment opportunity.

Brent Erickson, executive vice president of BIO's Industrial and Environmental Section, said, "The advanced biofuels industry could create 29,000 new jobs and create $5.5 billion in economic growth over the next three years, as companies continue to deploy the technology. As the advanced biofuels industry grows to the levels established in the Renewable Fuel Standard, it will create more than 800,000 new jobs throughout the economy. These new jobs will be in sectors of the economy that have experienced the highest rates of job losses over the past year, including agriculture and construction."

The new study's results include:

  • Direct job creation from advanced biofuels production could reach 29,000 by 2012, 94,000 by 2016, and 190,000 by 2022.
  • Total job creation, accounting for economic multiplier effects, could reach 123,000 in 2012, 383,000 in 2016, and 807,000 by 2022.
  • Direct economic output from the advanced biofuels industry is estimated to rise to $5.5 billion in 2012, $17.4 billion in 2016, and $37 billion by 2022.
  • Taking into consideration the indirect and induced economic effects, the total economic output effect for the U.S. economy is estimated to be $20.2 billion in 2012, $64.2 billion in 2016, and $148.7 billion in 2022.
  • Advanced biofuels production under the RFS could reduce U.S. petroleum imports by approximately $5.5 billion in 2012, $23 billion in 2016, and nearly $70 billion by 2022.
  • The cumulative total of avoided petroleum imports over the period 2010–2022 would exceed $350 billion.

Erickson continued, "Increasing advanced biofuel production to a modest target of 45 billion gallons by 2030, which can be achieved by maintaining the same pace of technology development, could create more than 400,000 jobs within the industry and 1.9 million new jobs throughout the economy. Further, it could provide an economic boost of $300 billion. Continued federal support can help the industry quicken the development of the necessary technology and weather the risk of oil price volatility.

"The biotechnology and advanced biofuels industry is working to make commercial production of cellulosic biofuels a reality in the near future. There are more than 30 existing and planned cellulosic biorefineries set to begin production of advanced biofuels within the next few years. Many other projects and promising technologies are on the drawing board. These pioneer cellulosic biofuel facilities will prove that the technology works and that the industry can meet and exceed the goals established in the Renewable Fuel Standard. As oil prices rise, the need for domestically produced advanced biofuels should remain a priority for U.S. policymakers and consumers."

To see a map of these cellulosic biofuel facilities, visit http://biofuelsandclimate.wordpress.com/about.

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